conspiracy of silence

conspiracy of silence

noun
a usually secret or unstated agreement to remain silent among those who know something whose disclosure might be damaging, harmful, or against their own best interest or that of their associates.

Origin:
1860–65

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To conspiracy of silence
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

conspiracy of silence

A tacit or explicit agreement to keep something secret. For example, In this state's medical society there is a conspiracy of silence regarding incompetent practitioners. This term was first used as a complaint about lack of attention, but today it more often refers to remaining silent about something unfavorable or criminal. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature