make a clean breast

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the notion that secrets are figuratively hidden in the heart which is contained in the breast (chest), and that admitting them will cause the heart to become clean and pure.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

make a clean breast (third-person singular simple present makes a clean breast, present participle making a clean breast, simple past and past participle made a clean breast)

  1. (idiomatic) Often followed by of: to be honest about something; to confess.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:confess

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gary Martin, “Make a clean breast of it”, in The Phrase Finder, 1997–.

Further reading[edit]