hold/keep/play (something) close to one's chest

idiom
variants: or US hold/keep/play (something) close to the vest

Definition of hold/keep/play (something) close to one's chest

: to keep (something) to oneself
  • It's better to hold such information close to the vest.
  • She tends to keep her opinions close to her chest.

Word by Word Definitions

hold play
  1. : to have possession or ownership of or have at one's disposal

  2. : to have as a privilege or position of responsibility

  3. : to have as a mark of distinction

  1. : stronghold

  2. : confinement, custody

  3. : prison

  1. : the interior of a ship below decks

  2. : the cargo compartment of a plane

keep play
  1. : to retain in one's possession or power

  2. : to refrain from granting, giving, or allowing

  3. : to have in control

  1. : the means or provisions by which one is kept

  2. : one that keeps or protects: such as

  3. : fortress, castle

play play
  1. : swordplay

  2. : game, sport

  3. : the conduct, course, or action of a game

  1. : to engage in sport or recreation : frolic

  2. : to have sexual relations

  3. : to move aimlessly about : trifle

something play
  1. : some indeterminate or unspecified thing

  2. : some indeterminate amount more than a specified number

  3. : a person or thing of consequence

  1. : in some degree : somewhat

  2. used as an intensive giving adverbial force to an adjective

close play
  1. : to move so as to bar passage through something

  2. : to block against entry or passage

  3. : to deny access to

  1. : a coming or bringing to a conclusion

  2. : a conclusion or end in time or existence : cessation

  3. : the concluding passage (as of a speech or play)

  1. : an enclosed area

  2. : the precinct (see precinct 2a) of a cathedral

  3. : a narrow passage leading from a street to a court and the houses within or to the common stairway of tenements

  1. : having no openings : closed

  2. : confined or carefully guarded

  3. : high

  1. : in a close position or manner

chest play
  1. : a container for storage or shipping

  2. : a cupboard used especially for the storing of medicines or first-aid supplies

  3. : the place where money of a public institution is kept : treasury


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