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Make a clean breast of   /meɪk ə klin brɛst əv/   Listen
Make a clean breast of

Admit or acknowledge a wrongdoing or error.  Synonyms: fess up, own up.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Make a clean breast of" Quotes from Famous Books

... out this morning, I say as you say—Oscar is making a mountain out of a molehill. He ought to have put himself right with Lucilla long since. I have unbounded influence over him. It shall back your influence. Oscar shall make a clean breast of it, before the week ...
— Poor Miss Finch • Wilkie Collins

... to the head of India Wharf the next morning, determined to make a clean breast of his engagement. The ocean air came straight in from the clear, blue bay, spice-laden as it swept along the great rows of warehouses, and a big white ship, topgallant sails still set, came bulging up the harbor, not sixty minutes from deep water. Mr. James found McMurtagh already ...
— Pirate Gold • Frederic Jesup Stimson

... the butler. Terrified and bewildered at the consequences of what he had done, or helped to do, Edwards hastened to Mr. Sharpe, who, by dint of exhortations, threats, and promises, judiciously blended, induced him to make a clean breast of it. ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... they tell me that they have voted to exclude the subject of religion. But how do I know what their religion is, and when I am near to or far from it? I have walked into such an arena and done my best to make a clean breast of what religion I have experienced, and the audience never suspected what I was about. The lecture was as harmless as moonshine to them. Whereas, if I had read to them the biography of the greatest scamps in history, they might have thought that I had written the lives of the ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 72, October, 1863 • Various

... to make a clean breast of it. One day he was obliged to remain at the house in expectation of receiving important telegrams, and the only people who appeared at lunch were Lady Lawless, Mrs. Gregory Thorne (who was expecting her husband), ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... know whether this is a hanging matter, but, at any rate, I can promise that you shall not be hung for it. The Duke of Marlborough has taken the matter in hand, and will, I have no doubt, be able to obtain for you some lesser punishment, if you make a clean breast of it. I don't say that you will be let free. You are too dangerous a man for that. But, at any rate, your punishment will not be a heavy one—perhaps nothing worse than agreeing to serve in the army. You understand that, in that case, nothing whatever will be said as to your being Dick ...
— A Jacobite Exile - Being the Adventures of a Young Englishman in the Service of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden • G. A. Henty

... landlord and knows how to make his guests comfortable. I had no special aptitude for farm life; no special desire to get on in the world; no special desire to do anything except pass the time as pleasantly as I could, without thought or care for the future. And as I have fully made up my mind to make a clean breast of it, I am going to tell you something which will make you despise me more than you ever despised me yet. When I married you I did so from impulse. Don't mistake me. I liked you better than any other woman I had ever seen. I liked your pretty face, and your gentle, girlish ways. I knew that you ...
— The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales • John Charles Dent

... was a woman, and—well! I'll make a clean breast of it—and because, although a man and woman love each other as long and dearly as Lucia Darro and her husband have and do, there is still something in the woman that the man can not quite understand, and upon which ...
— Trumps • George William Curtis

... any difference to us. If you don't make a clean breast of the matter, I'll pull her ...
— The Bradys and the Girl Smuggler - or, Working for the Custom House • Francis W. Doughty

... that evenin', d'ye see? "Mother," he ses so soon as the door ope'd, "have you seen him?" She whips out her slate an' writes down—"No." "Oh, no," ses Jim. "You don't get out of it that way, mother. I lay you have seen him, an' I lay he's bested you for all your talk, same as he bested me. Make a clean breast of it, mother," he ses. "He got round you too." She was goin' for the slate again, but he stops her. "It's all right, mother," he ses. "I've seen him sense you have, an' he won't trouble us no more." The old lady looks up quick as a robin, an' she writes, ...
— A Diversity of Creatures • Rudyard Kipling

... Putney. "You can't do anything for a client who won't be honest with his attorney. That's what I have to continually impress upon the reprobates who come to me. I say, 'It don't matter what you've done; if you expect me to get you off, you've got to make a clean breast of it.' They generally do; they ...
— Annie Kilburn - A Novel • W. D. Howells

Words linked to "Make a clean breast of" :   concede, profess, confess, fess up, own up

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