an open secret

open secret

Something that is widely known, although it is not supposed to be. Oh please, everyone knew he was the real leader of the department—that was like an open secret.
See also: open, secret
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

an ˌopen ˈsecret

a fact that is supposed to be a secret but that everyone knows: It’s an open secret that they’re getting married.
See also: an, open, secret
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

open secret, an

Something that is supposedly clandestine but is actually well known. This term was used as the Italian title of a play (Il pubblico secrete) translated by Carlo Gozzi in 1769 from a Spanish play by Calderón de la Barca, El secreto a voces (literally, “the noisy secret”). In English it came into general use in the nineteenth century for a secret in name only.
See also: an, open
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
I am telling you only what is an open secret. But I am afraid I am boring you.
It is an open secret that the credit of this smart capture belongs entirely to the well-known Scotland Yard officials, Messrs.
Well, it's an open secret that when he's out of trainin' he drinks hard--strikin' an average, he calls it.
When a few weeks later it was reported in the papers that Wilcox had been shot at from an ambuscade, it was an open secret that McMurdo was still at work upon his unfinished job.
Between Rollo and this human benefactor there had always existed friendly relations, and it was an open secret that, unless his uncle were to marry and supply the world with little Galloways as well as braces, the young man would come into his money.
As it is an open secret that the Duke of Balmoral has been compelled to sell his pictures within the last few years, and as Lord St.
It is an open secret that the Duke's married life had not been a peaceful one, and the matter had ended in a separation by mutual consent, the Duchess taking up her residence in the south of France.
It is an open secret that President Trump wants to end the prolonged-Afghan conflict; which is almost impossible without Islamabad and Rawalpindi cooperation-a fact earlier not only recognized by America but Russia and China too.
It is an open secret that President Trump wants to end the prolonged Afghan conflict, which is almost impossible without Pakistan's cooperation - a fact earlier not only recognized by America but Russia and China too.
Baligod also said that aside from being an open secret, he is aware of this as he was the one who took the judicial affidavit of eight of Kerwin Espinosa's drug courier.
The Canadian's move from Williams has been an open secret since his billionaire father Lawrence led a buyout to take over Force India in August.
Escalation concerns can also cause leaders to ignore covert interventions that have become an open secret.
It is an open secret that the previous NAB chairman and the PML-N government during its long rule never realised that corruption was one of the major problems in the country.
The land mafia in the metropolis is an open secret and has been encroaching upon lands, especially those of the poor to reap benefits off them.
His thirst for small, youthful men is an open secret in gospel circles.