play (one's) cards close to (one's) chest(redirected from playing one's cards close to one's chest)
play (one's) cards close to (one's) chest
To keep one's plans, intentions, or tactics secret from other people. Refers to holding one's playing cards close to one's chest in a card game, so as not to allow other players to see one's hand. We're all curious about what the boss has been discussing in those meetings with the lawyers, but she's playing her cards close to her chest. Sorry for not being more straightforward about my plans, but I'm playing my cards close to my chest for the time being.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
play one's cards close to one's chestand play one's cards close to one's vest; keep one's cards close to one's chest; keep one's cards close to one's vest
Fig. to keep to oneself or be very cautious in one's dealing with people. (As if one were playing cards and not permitting anyone to see any of the cards.) He is very cautious. He plays his cards close to his chest. You seem to be playing your cards close to your vest.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
play your cards close to your chestmainly BRITISH or
play your cards close to the vestAMERICAN
If you play your cards close to your chest, you do not tell anyone about your plans or thoughts. Williams is playing his cards close to his chest, especially in terms of his driver line-up for next season. He plays his cards very close to the vest, leaving some attorneys with whom he's worked to describe him as secretive and manipulative. Note: You can also say that someone keeps their cards close to their chest or keeps their cards close to the vest. The Prime Minister was said yesterday to be keeping his cards close to his chest after an informal discussion at cabinet on Thursday. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of cards. Taylor kept his thoughts close to his chest, saying only: `I'm not prepared to comment.' I have no inside information — Dave's playing this one close to his chest. The military's playing this whole operation pretty close to the vest — they generally don't like to talk about future operations. Note: This is a reference to card-players holding their cards close to their chest so that nobody else can see them.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
keep/hold/play your cards ˌclose to your ˈchestnot tell others what you are intending to do: He keeps his cards pretty close to his chest. I don’t know whether he plans to buy the house or not. OPPOSITE: show/reveal your hand
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
play one's cards close to one's chest, to
To be secretive. The analogy to holding one’s hand so that no one can see what cards are in it has been used since the mid-twentieth century. Agatha Christie had it in The Pale Horse (1961): “I couldn’t afford to give hints. You have to play these things close to your chest.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer