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 For many years, Weinstein’s predatory behavior was an open secret in Hollywood. Amanda Taub, New York Times, 30 Aug. 2023 China, experts say, may speak to a broader dissatisfaction with what has come to be an open secret in China: that, ultimately, power pulls the strings—even in a singing competition that is explicitly premised on blind auditions. Time, 25 Aug. 2023 The store carries predictable essentials, but an open secret is that designers rely on it for home decor gems that can complete their interiors, often with luxe or quirky touches. Yelena Moroz Alpert, House Beautiful, 30 June 2023 Heroin started to play a major role in Rowan’s personal life around this time, an open secret in the alternative-rock community. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2023 While the paper did not name Mr. Edwards, his identity quickly became an open secret in cyberspace. Mark Landler, New York Times, 14 July 2023 Alix Earle and Braxton Berrios Have a ‘Fun Date Night’ Cooking at Home While Earle and Berrios’ relationship has been an open secret for the past month, the ESPY Awards provides one of the first instances that the pair have publicly appeared together. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 13 July 2023 Treating this kind of assistance as an open secret leads to a lack of transparency and appropriate regulation, while exposing care workers to unnecessary legal risks. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 21 Apr. 2023 Issues with her short-term memory have become an open secret on Capitol Hill, though few Democrats have been willing to discuss the subject publicly. Reid J. Epstein, New York Times, 10 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'open secret.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of open secret was in 1828

Dictionary Entries Near open secret

Cite this Entry

“Open secret.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

open secret

: something supposed to be a secret but in fact generally known

More from Merriam-Webster on open secret

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