make a clean breast of (something)

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make a clean breast of (something)

To confess one's misdeeds or wrongdoings. I felt so guilty about cheating on the test that I had to make a clean breast of it to my teacher.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

make a clean breast of something (to someone)

Fig. to admit something to someone. You should make a clean breast of the matter to someone. You'll feel better if you make a clean breast of the incident.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

make a clean breast of

Confess fully, as in Caught shoplifting, the girls decided to make a clean breast of it to their parents. This expression, first recorded in 1752, uses clean breast in the sense of baring of one's heart, the breast long considered the seat of private or secret feelings.
See also: breast, clean, make, of

make a clean breast of something

If you make a clean breast of something, you tell the whole truth about it. `But what shall I tell my parents?' — `You'll have to make a clean breast of it, dear.' If you make a clean breast of your problems, creditors are much more likely to deal fairly with you.
See also: breast, clean, make, of, something

make a clean breast of something (or of it)

confess your mistakes or wrongdoings.
In former times, many people believed that the breast or chest was where a person's conscience was located. The breast is still used metaphorically to represent the seat of the emotions.
See also: breast, clean, make, of, something

make a clean ˈbreast of something

admit fully something that you have done wrong: He decided to make a clean breast of it and tell the police.
See also: breast, clean, make, of, something

make a clean breast of

To confess fully.
See also: breast, clean, make, of
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