make a clean breast of

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v make a clean breast of admit or acknowledge a wrongdoing or error "the writer of the anonymous letter owned up after they identified his handwriting"
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Make a clean breast of to own up frankly, to confess fully
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. clǽne; W., Gael. glan, shine, polish; Ger. klein, small.

Usage

In literature:

Fandor realised that the corporal had decided to make a clean breast of it.
"A Nest of Spies" by Pierre Souvestre
Skiddy made the conception clearer, and promised him immunity if he would make a clean breast of it.
"Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas" by Lloyd Osbourne
I have to make a clean breast of it all.
"The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893" by Various
Countess de Linieres decided to make a clean breast of her wretched past to her husband.
"Orphans of the Storm" by Henry MacMahon
Perhaps he had worked on Joe to make a clean breast of it.
"The Bondboy" by George W. (George Washington) Ogden
Make a clean breast of it, and I'll do my best to help you.
"The Fate of Felix Brand" by Florence Finch Kelly
I may as well make a clean breast of the whole matter," he went on, "and tell you the truth, Gerelda.
"Kidnapped at the Altar" by Laura Jean Libbey
I so wanted, and so feared, to make a clean breast of the sweep that I had been.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 17 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
At that time I had to make a clean breast of it or it would have cost me my life.
"The German Classics, v. 20" by Various
Now make a clean breast of it, and avoid further trouble.
"The Adventures of the Eleven Cuff-Buttons" by James Francis Thierry
What you can do is to make a clean breast of your story from beginning to end.
"The House by the Lock" by C. N. Williamson
But come, quiet down and cheer up, and take a fresh start; go on and make a clean breast of it by telling us the whole story.
"The Red Moccasins" by Morrison Heady
We'll have Hugo down here after breakfast, and see whether he'll make a clean breast of it.
"Under False Pretences" by Adeline Sergeant
Hadn't you better make a clean breast of it to me, and see what I can do to help you?
"Long Live the King" by Guy Boothby
He could still make a clean breast of the whole thing.
"The Dictator" by Milton Lesser
Anyhow, I will denounce you if you do not make a clean breast of all you know to the president to-morrow.
"A House-Party" by Ouida
I'd go and make a clean breast of the whole affair.
"A Boy Knight" by Martin J. (Martin Jerome) Scott
But Marjorie was a very honest, truthful girl, and she decided to make a clean breast of everything to Uncle Henry when he came home.
"The Girl from Arizona" by Nina Rhoades
Shall I make a clean breast of it, and tell my companion my whole story?
"A Day's Ride A Life's Romance" by Charles James Lever
If it be, I'll cheat him, by making a clean breast of it.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 98, December, 1865" by Various
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