keep one’s own counsel

keep one’s own counsel


  • say little or nothing about one’s opinions or intentions.
  • to remain silent about one’s thoughts or plans
  • to say little or nothing about one’s opinion.
  • to keep quiet about one’s views or intentions.
  • to conceal one’s thoughts and intentions.

Examples in Sentences

  1. I doubted what he said, but I kept my own counsel.
  2. Naomi is naturally a private person, so she keeps her own counsel.
  3. Our boss is notorious for keeping his own counsel; you never know what he has in his mind.
  4. I would love to know what Talia thinks, but she keeps her own counsel.
  5. My boss is the person who says less but acts more, so he keeps his own counsel.
  6. He is notorious for keeping his own counsel; you never know what he is thinking.
  7. Her mother advised her to keep her own counsel.
  8. We were curious to understand why Jane kept her own counsel during the meeting and just listened to the rest of us.


This phrase employs the use of counsel in terms of a secret. Its usage dates back to the 1300s.

The earliest printed record of the phrase was found in 1547 in Charles Knight’s Popular History of England, Volume 2, originally published in 1856. It reads:

“Three may keep counsel, ” he said to Cavendish, “if two be away; and if I thought that my cap knew my counsel, I would cast it into the fire and burn it.”


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Idiom of the Day

bury the hatchet

Meaning: to stop fighting or arguing or to end old resentments

Example: After many quarrelling years, the two political parties finally decided to bury the hatchet. Read on


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