conspiracy of silence


conspiracy of silence


  • general agreement to keep silent about a subject for the sake of secrecy.
  • to remain silent about something criminal or unfavorable.
  • keeping something whose disclosure might be harmful, damaging, or against the best interests of a group secret.
  • a secret agreement to remain silent about a situation, occurrence, or subject to protect or promote self-interests.
  • agreement to conceal information about something people should know.

Example Sentences

  1. Healthcare professionals create a conspiracy of silence due to the fear of legal proceedings, corrective action, or punishment. 
  2. Is there a conspiracy of silence against the manager?
  3. I would like to know why a conspiracy of silence exists in all these matters.
  4. She spoke about calculated deception and a conspiracy of silence.
  5. It’s better to express our views on race relations and immigration instead of being subjected to a conspiracy of silence.
  6. I’m afraid that our conspiracy of silence has come too late.
  7. In this country, there appears to be a conspiracy of silence regarding the fiscal system.
  8. There’s almost a conspiracy of silence about the inefficiencies and waste that the system brings with it.
  9. There’s a conspiracy of silence over the incident.
  10. It is unhelpful to have a conspiracy of silence when things don’t go well.
  11. On the airport security check in New York City, there is a conspiracy of silence; most guards bypass the known visitors without checking.


The idiom “conspiracy of silence” describes how a group of people behave. The group can be large or small, and by unspoken consensus, it does not discuss, acknowledge, or mention a given subject. It can maintain silence because of a positive interest in group solidarity or because of negative impulses like social ostracism or political repercussions. It is different from avoiding a taboo subject because the phrase is applied to more limited political or social contexts instead of a whole culture. When people use the phrase as a descriptor, it can imply dishonesty, privileging loyalty to a particular social group over another, or cowardice. It has been in use since 1865. People first used it as a complaint against a lack of attention. Several authors have used the idiom in book titles. Examples are Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig, a book whose story is based on biblical history, and Conspiracy of Silence by Anna Legat, a crime novel.

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