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

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 The conditions that migrants were enduring in the Sahara Desert had been an open secret among aid workers as well as governments in Africa and Europe. NBC News, "Algeria stops forcing migrants into Sahara after widespread outrage," 13 July 2018 That last item is the most telling indicator of the Galactic Empire’s glaring open secret — its extreme weakness. Amy Erica Smith, Vox, "Solo reveals the weakness of the Star Wars Galactic Empire," 20 June 2018 Well, meet Ryan Tannehill: The Dolphins' open secret. Armando Salguero, miamiherald, "Miami Dolphins believe Ryan Tannehill as durable as before injuries," 22 May 2018 Yin-yang contracts — so named for having two different but interconnected parts, one public and one under the table — also have been an open secret in China’s film and television industry for years. Don Lee,, "In China's 'money worshiping' movie industry, stars' high pay becomes a target of the central government," 5 July 2018 Christopher Steele and his patrons embarked on a media roadshow, making their dossier something of an open secret in Washington. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Elizabeth Price Foley, WSJ, "Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree," 22 June 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

25 Sep 2018

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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

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one that holds something together

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