out in the open
(out) in the open
1. Exposed and visible to others in an unenclosed or outdoor space. We can't stop the convoy here—we're right out in the open. We could be attacked at any minute! Back in my hometown, you could leave your car unlocked and in the open all night long. In the big city, it would be robbed within an hour. It's too hot to have our picnic just out in the open like this—we need some shade!
2. By extension, revealed or uncovered for others to know, see, experience, etc. We all knew their marriage was failing, but it wasn't until their kids left for college that they brought that fact out in the open. Our agency will not rest until the truth is in the open! A: "Now that everything is out in the open, do you think Jenny will be able to forgive me?" B: "Unfortunately, only time will tell."
See also: open
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*out in the open
1. Lit. visible in an open space; exposed in an open area. (*Typically: be ~; bring something ~; come ~; get ~; get something ~.) The trucks are out in the open where we can see them. They came out in the open.
2. Fig. [for something] to be public knowledge. (*Typically: be ~; bring something ~; get ~; get something ~.) Is this matter out in the open, or is it still secret? Let's get this out in the open and discuss it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
out in the open
Also, out into the open. In or into public view or knowledge, as in I wish he wouldn't talk behind our backs but bring his complaints out in the open, or It's important to bring the merger plans out into the open. This term uses open to mean "an unconcealed state." [c. 1940]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.