Definition of skeleton in the cupboard in English:

skeleton in the cupboard

(North American skeleton in the closet)


  • A discreditable or embarrassing fact that someone wishes to keep secret.

    • ‘Most adults, whether in jail or not, have skeletons in the closet.’
    • ‘Brooke had some dirty laundry and some skeletons in the closet that she would not have liked brought to light, but she rarely tried to persecute others through her own misdeeds.’
    • ‘The couple, devout Catholics, don't seem to have any skeletons in the closet, until the police dig deeper.’
    • ‘But she isn't the only one with a skeleton in the closet; Danny is hiding a secret of his own.’
    • ‘By keeping the skeletons in the cupboard, the city's face is saved.’
    • ‘It is the skeleton in the closet, the Pandora's box yet unopened.’
    • ‘First and foremost is that there should not be any skeletons in the cupboard.’
    • ‘When we think of secrets, we think of all those the skeletons in the closet.’
    • ‘We all have our hidden secrets, our skeletons in the closet, our feelings of guilt; these things weigh on everyone to a degree.’
    • ‘People say you don't go very far back before you find some skeletons in the closet but what I found out about my great great grandfather hit me quite hard.’