something supposedly secret but actually known quite generally.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use open secret in a sentence
“Itzel Schnaas’ video changed everything,” says María Scherer, a journalist who started investigating rumors about abuse by Roemer years ago when, she says, it was still an open secret.Dozens of Women Accused Famous Intellectual Andrés Roemer of Sexual Abuse. They Came Together to Make the World Listen | Meaghan Beatley | June 1, 2021 | Time
Now, an open secret has become an international political scandal.Dozens of Women Accused Famous Intellectual Andrés Roemer of Sexual Abuse. They Came Together to Make the World Listen | Meaghan Beatley | June 1, 2021 | Time
Haya said these cherry-picking practices have been an open secret.The climate solution actually adding millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere | James Temple, Lisa Song | April 29, 2021 | MIT Technology Review
His disastrous relationship with his eldest child, Charles, was an open secret, remarked on by everyone.
Though there’s no way that Grant or Scott could have been open about being a couple at the time, their relationship seems to have been an open secret.
Others shared stories of friends who suffered from bulimia in an open secret.Stepford Sororities: The Pressures of USC’s Greek Life | Maya Richard Craven | November 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It was an open secret, and one that discomfited several of his brethren.Ruth Bader Ginsburg Levels With Us on Why She’s Not Retiring | Jeff Greenfield | September 25, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the existence of underground markets selling tiger in Guangdong has long been an open secret.Why Do Chinese Oligarchs Secretly Love Illegal Tiger Meat? | Jake Adelstein | March 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is an open secret (being open is part of the strategy) that the Israeli military has in excess of a hundred nuclear warheads.How and Why the "Nuclear Umbrella" Argument Falls Apart | Bernard Avishai | August 20, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The women say, however, that “special time” with Saraswati was an open secret.
It is the open secret of the universe, and the Bible gives us the key to it.The Hidden Power | Thomas Troward
The causes of the event were an open secret to his friends and acquaintances.Dickens | Adolphus William Ward
But his attentions never gave rise to jealousy; for it was an open secret in the servants' hall that he loved his mistress.Cashel Byron's Profession | George Bernard Shaw
The matter is an open secret; all Rome is discussing the decrees from the Palatine against the Nazarenes.Quintus Claudius, Volume 1 of 2 | Ernst Eckstein
His love of Beatrice de Bardi was an open secret—all Florence knew of it.Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13 | Elbert Hubbard
British Dictionary definitions for open secret
something that is supposed to be secret but is widely known
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with open secret
Something that is supposedly clandestine but is in fact widely known, as in It's an open secret that both their children are adopted. This expression originated as the title of a Spanish play by Calderón, El Secreto a Voces (“The Noisy Secret”), which was translated by Carlo Gozzi into Italian as Il pubblico secreto (1769). In English the term came into general use during the 1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.