hush money


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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hush money

Historical Examples of hush money

  • At such a moment then, called our ladies-legatees, clamorous for hush-money.


    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"

    Virginia Tracy

  • The "hush-money" extorted by Davila was therefore some $5,000.

    The Spanish Pioneers

    Charles F. Lummis

British Dictionary definitions for hush money

hush money


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

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.