keep one's mouth shut

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

keep one's mouth shut (third-person singular simple present keeps one's mouth shut, present participle keeping one's mouth shut, simple past and past participle kept one's mouth shut)

  1. (idiomatic) To keep a secret; to refrain from speaking indiscreetly or carelessly; broadly, to refrain from speaking altogether.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter XXV, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, OCLC 1150866071:
      He thought that he could get him a regular salary if he would come to Packingtown and do as he was told, and keep his mouth shut.
    • 2004, Alan Cowell, "Charles Joins Fray Over Himself," New York Times, 23 Nov. (retrieved 25 Oct. 2008):
      Charles has failed to follow the example of his mother, the queen, who has heroically kept her mouth shut for more than 50 years.
    • 2022 May 23, Farge, Emma, “Russian diplomat in Switzerland says he resigns over Ukraine invasion”, in Reuters[1], archived from the original on 26 May 2022, Europe:
      He said he had raised his concerns about the invasion with senior embassy staff several times. "I was told to keep my mouth shut in order to avoid ramifications," he said.

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