keep one's counsel
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keep one's counsel (third-person singular simple present keeps one's counsel, present participle keeping one's counsel, simple past and past participle kept one's counsel)
- To keep one's own business private; to be careful, circumspect, or discreet in what one says concerning one's own deeds, situation, or thoughts.
- Synonyms: hold one's peace, keep one's cards close to one's chest, keep one's mouth shut, keep one's own counsel, keep counsel
- 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, “Contains both Love and War”, in The History of Pendennis. […], volume I, London: Bradbury and Evans, […], published 1849, →OCLC, page 56:
- As he held his mother to him, he longed to tell her all, but he kept his counsel.
- 1982 July 26, “Personal Power, Personal Hate”, in Time, New York, N.Y.: Time Warner Publishing, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 8 April 2008:
- [Ruhollah] Khomeini's approach to decision making is to keep his counsel at first, allowing the advocates of different options to debate issues openly.
- To keep a secret for someone else; to be careful, circumspect, or discreet in what one says concerning someone else's deeds, situation, or thoughts.
- Synonym: keep one's mouth shut
- 1871–1872, George Eliot [pseudonym; Mary Ann Evans], chapter XLIX, in Middlemarch […], volume III, Edinburgh; London: William Blackwood and Sons, →OCLC, book V, page 105:
- Standish will keep our counsel, and the news will be old before it's known.