One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sensitive issue or piece of information which is kept secret by the government.‘protest was silenced and pollution was as much a state secret as the ammunition stocks’
- ‘Provider of unauthorised access to personal data or a state secret, along with the disclosure of a user password will serve between one to three years' imprisonment.’
- ‘People convicted of deliberately leaking state secrets could face jail terms of three to 10 years.’
- ‘It is no state secret that the selection convention in Castlebar was somewhat unusual to say the least.’
- ‘Actual death penalty statistics are a closely guarded state secret.’
- ‘Its contents continue to be a heavily guarded state secret.’
- 1.1humorous An important and closely guarded piece of information.‘her marriage was on the rocks, which was hardly a state secret at the time’
- ‘She also owns an iPod, although her playlist is a closely-guarded state secret.’
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