secret

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(someone's) secret is safe with (one)

One will not divulge the secret that someone else has shared with one. A: "Please don't share that information with anyone else!" B: "Don't worry—your secret is safe with me!" The legal consultant assured me that our secrets are safe with him.
See also: safe, secret

a magician never reveals his secrets

Said by someone who does not wish to divulge or explain something (not necessarily an actual magician). A: "What did you put in this sauce? It tastes even better than usual!" B: "Ah, a magician never reveals his secrets." Mommy, I tried to ask the magician how he did that trick, and all he would say is, "A magician never reveals his secrets."
See also: never, reveal, secret

best-kept secret

A certain aspect, fact, location, or activity, usually touristic or commercial in nature, that is or purports to be not well known to the public but deserving of praise or attention. The newspaper called the restaurant the city's best-kept secret. While everyone wants to visit the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula is really one of Ireland's best-kept secrets.
See also: secret

Can you keep a secret?

A question asked before one discloses confidential information to confirm that the recipient will keep it confidential. A: "Can you keep a secret?" B: "Of course. What's going on?" A: "I'm getting the promotion!"
See also: can, keep

carry a secret to (one's)/the grave

To keep (not reveal) a secret for the duration of one's life. I can't believe that Grandma carried such a huge family secret to her grave! If Uncle Joe hadn't blurted it out, we'd never have known about it! Oh, Emily is a loyal friend—she would definitely carry a secret to the grave.
See also: carry, grave, secret

deep, dark secret

A piece of information that is extremely private and confidential, usually implied to be embarrassing, incriminating, or shameful. I've carried my fear of clowns as a deep, dark secret for many years now. Many saw her as a perfect candidate, but no one could have known she had a deep, dark secret from her past.
See also: dark, secret

in secret

Away from others; in private. We need to meet in secret so that the paparazzi don't see us together. You better speak to him in secret about that, instead of ambushing him in front of the whole staff.
See also: secret

keep a secret

To not divulge confidential information to anyone else. A: "Hey, can you keep a secret?" B: "Of course. What's going on?" A: "I'm moving to Florida in two months!" Oh, no, don't tell Mary—everyone knows that she can't keep secrets!
See also: keep, secret

make a secret of (something)

To try to hide something; to keep something secret. I've never made a secret of my plan to eventually sell the company. Don't make a secret of what you're working on—share it with the rest of us!
See also: make, of, 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

take a/the secret to (one's)/the grave

To not reveal a secret for the duration of one's life. I can't believe that grandma took such a huge family secret to her grave! If Uncle Joe hadn't blurted it out, we'd never have known about it! Oh, Emily is a loyal friend—she would definitely take the secret to the grave.
See also: grave, secret, take

top secret

Of the utmost secrecy; not to be revealed to anyone, under any circumstances. Hyphenated if used as before a noun. It should go without saying that this information is top secret—do not mention it to anyone, not even your loved ones. The top-secret memo has been at the center of an ongoing controversy within the party over the past few months.
See also: secret, top

trade secret

1. Literally, a particular way of making something that a company keeps secret from competitors. The recipe for our famous rib sauce has been a trade secret for decades.
2. By extension, any secret one keeps about the way one makes or does something. A: "How do you get the colors in your pictures to turn out so brilliantly?" B: "Sorry, trade secret."
See also: secret, trade

carry a secret to the grave

 and carry a secret to one's grave
Fig. to never reveal a secret, even to the day of one's death. John carried our secret to his grave. Trust me, I will carry your secret to the grave!
See also: carry, grave, secret

Could you keep a secret?

 and Can you keep a secret?
I am going to tell you something that I hope you will keep a secret. (Also used with can in place of could.) Tom: Could you keep a secret? Mary: Sure. Tom: Don't tell anybody, but I'm going to be a daddy. Sue: Can you keep a secret? Alice: Of course. Sue: We're moving to Atlanta.
See also: could, keep

in secret

secretly. They planned in secret to blow up the bridge. I will tell her in secret so no one else will hear.
See also: secret

keep a secret

to know a secret and not tell anyone. Please keep our little secret private. Do you know how to keep a secret?
See also: keep, secret

make a secret of something

to act as if something were a secret. I'm not making a secret of it. lam quitting this job. Mary made a secret of her intentions.
See also: make, of, secret

open secret

something that is supposed to be known only by a few people but is known in fact to a great many people. Their engagement is an open secret. Only their friends are supposed to know, but in fact, the whole town knows. It's an open secret that Max is looking for a new job.
See also: open, secret

trade secret

 
1. Lit. a secret way of making or selling a product; a business secret. The exact formula of the soft drink is a trade secret.
2. Fig. any secret method. (Jocular.) A: How do you manage to sell so many of these each month? B: It's a trade secret.
See also: secret, trade

Your secret is safe with me.

I will not tell your secret to anyone. Don't worry. I won't tell. Your secret's safe with me. Your secret is safe with me. I will carry it to my grave.
See also: safe, secret

in secret

Unknown to others, privately. For example, They met in secret, or, as Shakespeare put it in Love's Labour's Lost (5:2): "One word in secret." [Second half of 1400s]
See also: secret

open secret

Something that is supposedly clandestine but is in fact widely known, as in It's an open secret that both their children are adopted. This expression originated as the title of a Spanish play by Calderón, El Secreto a Voces ("The Noisy Secret"), which was translated by Carlo Gozzi into Italian as Il pubblico secreto (1769). In English the term came into general use during the 1800s.
See also: open, secret

take the (or your etc.) secret to the grave

die without revealing a secret.
See also: grave, secret, take

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: open, secret

ˌtop ˈsecret

used to describe very secret government information: These defence plans are top secret, known only to a very few people.The file was marked TOP SECRET.
See also: secret, top

a ˌtrade ˈsecret


1 a secret about a particular company’s method of production: The ingredients of Coca-Cola are a trade secret.
2 (humorous) a secret about how you make or do something: ‘Can I have a recipe for this cake?’ ‘No, you can’t. It’s a trade secret.’
See also: secret, trade

in secret

Without others knowing.
See also: secret

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: open

secret weapon

A clandestine item or mode of attack unknown to the enemy. The term came into wide use during World War II, when it was rumored that Hitler was going to launch a powerful secret weapon against Great Britain. Subsequently the term was applied to pilotless planes, robot bombs, rockets, and nuclear bombs. Thereafter it entered the civilian vocabulary, where it is used in sports (“Bill’s second serve, stronger than the first, is his secret weapon”) and numerous other activities. Edith Simon had it in The Past Masters (1953): “See the candid camera at work, that misnamed secret weapon.”
See also: secret, weapon
References in periodicals archive ?
and called her friend for help, according to records, before the surveillance cameras exposed the manager that he had lied when he denied having tried to secretly film under the woman's miniskirt.
Iheanacho also denied two public order offences, accusing him of causing 'harassment, alarm and distress' by secretly filming women with a video camera in Cardiff city centre on October 13 and 27 last year.
She said her superiors asked her to assist the prince and she ended up writing most of a journal that formed part of his art course work To back her claims, Forsyth buttonholed Harry just before his final exam and secretly recorded their conversation.
Authorities say Johnson confessed to having sex with a half-dozen patients and secretly videotaped trysts in his offices, between 2000 and 2003.
Speaking on the film she says: "We had a girl once and we secretly filmed her, didn't we John?
Even though they met secretly in public places and restaurants to exchange information, both men were arrested and tried in Moscow in 1963.
1975: Actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, above, secretly above, secretly Tremarry in Africa only 16 months after getting divorced.
Meanwhile, on Christmas Day, that plum pudding David Metcalfe finds himself with a dilemma when he has to admit to heartbroken 'wife' Alicia that he's secretly seeing his true love Priya and they should finally end their sham marriage.
A source claimed that Mirren had already secretly recorded several long and hilarious monologues two weeks ago, Contactmusic reported.
Summary: The Lebanese artist Pascal Mishalani released a statement asserting that the rumors claiming that she secretly married the composer Melhim Abu Shdid are not true
A PATHOLOGIST caused a couple 'deep depression' when he secretly removed organs from their dead twin babies' bodies and kept them in his hospital lab for years, a medical tribunal heard yesterday.
TAPES secretly recorded by Diana, Princess of Wales, detailing the breakdown of her marriage to the Prince of Wales are to be shown for the first time on television.
ROCK legend Eric Clapton has found joy at last after secretly wedding the 25-year-old mother of his baby daughter.
A secretly recorded video proved that a Midland doctor plotted to have his former mistress killed, a jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told yesterday.