play/hold/keep one's cards close to the/one's chest/vest

idiom

Definition of play/hold/keep one's cards close to the/one's chest/vest

: to keep one's plans, ideas, etc., hidden from other people
  • No one knows if he's going to run for reelection. He's still playing his cards close to his chest.

Word by Word Definitions

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

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

card play cards
  1. : to cleanse, disentangle, and collect together (fibers) by the use of cards preparatory to spinning

  1. : an instrument or machine for carding fibers that consists usually of bent wire teeth set closely in rows in a thick piece of leather fastened to a back

  2. : an implement for raising a nap on cloth

  1. : playing card

  2. : a game played with cards

  3. : card playing

  1. : to place or fasten on or by means of a card

  2. : to provide with a card

  3. : to list or record on a card

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

vest play
  1. : a sleeveless garment for the upper body usually worn over a shirt

  2. : a protective usually sleeveless garment (such as a life preserver) that extends to the waist

  3. : an insulated sleeveless waist-length garment often worn under or in place of a coat

  1. : to grant or endow with a particular authority, right, or property

  2. : to place or give into the possession or discretion of some person or authority

  3. : to clothe with or as if with a garment


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