open secret


Definition of open secret

: a supposedly secret but generally known matter

Examples of open secret in a Sentence

It's an open secret that he's been cheating on his wife.

Recent Examples on the Web

Allegations against Spacey first broke just over a year ago Hollywood insiders have said that Spacey’s alleged deeds were one of Hollywood’s open secrets for a long time, but the dam finally broke just over a year ago. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Kevin Spacey released a bizarre video evoking Frank Underwood, apparently to defend himself," 24 Dec. 2018 In many cases, the identity of these writers was an open secret at publication—everyone knows who is behind the Polymath project, for example. Ars Technica, "The Journal of Controversial Ideas—academic freedom sans responsibility is reckless," 25 Nov. 2018 Viganò says the allegations were an open secret within the Vatican. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Pope Francis to meet with top US cardinals over DC archbishop’s legacy of sex abuse allegations," 12 Sep. 2018 Francis' refusal to immediately respond to Vigano's claims has frustrated many Catholics in the U.S., who were already outraged that McCarrick's penchant for seminarians and young priests was apparently an open secret in some Catholic circles. Nicole Winfield, Fox News, "Vatican promises 'clarifications' to pope cover-up claims," 10 Sep. 2018 One of the open secrets of live stand-up is that the most famous names are rarely the funniest ones on the bill. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "A Netflix Experiment Gives Deserving Comics Their 15 Minutes," 2 July 2018 Now, after years of adoption activists calling for action, the Irish government has finally apologized and is now attempting to shed light on one of the country’s biggest open secrets. Allyson Chiu,, "Irish government apologizes to 126 people illegally adopted. There may be thousands like them, activists say.," 31 May 2018 One long-standing partial remedy that women have developed is the whisper network, informal alliances that pass on open secrets and warn women away from serial assaulters. Moira Donegan, The Cut, "I Started the Media Men List," 10 Jan. 2018 Shurmur’s hiring was an open secret for the last week but the Giants had to wait to announce the move until the Vikings’ season ended — which happened on Sunday with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the N.F.C. championship. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Giants Hire Pat Shurmur in Hopes of Revitalizing Struggling Team," 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'open secret.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of open secret

1828, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

13 Feb 2019

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The first known use of open secret was in 1828

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More Definitions for open secret

open secret


English Language Learners Definition of open secret

: something that many people know about but that is supposed to be a secret

Comments on open secret

What made you want to look up open secret? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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