- a bribe to keep someone silent about something, especially to keep the receiver from exposing a scandal.
Origin of hush money
First recorded in 1700–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for hush money
At such a moment then, called our ladies-legatees, clamorous for hush-money.Heart
Martin Farquhar Tupper
Nor will you ever be able to squeeze any hush-money from me again.
If you can't get hush-money out of its mother, you can bleed Fanny Bray.Cast Adrift
T. S. Arthur
How often it has succeeded, grabbed its hush-money and retreated, of course I don't know."Persons Unknown"
The "hush-money" extorted by Davila was therefore some $5,000.The Spanish Pioneers
Charles F. Lummis
- slang money given to a person, such as an accomplice, to ensure that something is kept secret
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with hush money
A bribe paid to keep something secret, as in No amount of hush money will keep that scandal from coming out. [c. 1700]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.