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conspiracy of silence

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 of conspiracy of silence
1860-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Idioms and Phrases with conspiracy-of-silence

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® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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