To keep one's own counsel
Counsel Coun"sel (koun"s[e^]l), n. [OE. conseil, F. conseil, fr. L. consilium, fr. the root of consulere to consult, of uncertain origin. Cf. {Consult}, {Consul}.] 1. Interchange of opinions; mutual advising; consultation. [1913 Webster]

All the chief priest and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, to put him to death. --Matt. xxvii. 1. [1913 Webster]

2. Examination of consequences; exercise of deliberate judgment; prudence. [1913 Webster]

They all confess, therefore, in the working of that first cause, that counsel is used. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

3. Result of consultation; advice; instruction. [1913 Webster]

I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

It was ill counsel had misled the girl. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. Deliberate purpose; design; intent; scheme; plan. [1913 Webster]

The counsel of the Lord standeth forever. --Ps. xxxiii. 11. [1913 Webster]

The counsels of the wicked are deceit. --Prov. xii. 5. [1913 Webster]

5. A secret opinion or purpose; a private matter. [1913 Webster]

Thilke lord . . . to whom no counsel may be hid. --Gower. [1913 Webster]

6. One who gives advice, especially in legal matters; one professionally engaged in the trial or management of a cause in court; also, collectively, the legal advocates united in the management of a case; as, the defendant has able counsel. [1913 Webster]

The King found his counsel as refractory as his judges. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Note: In some courts a distinction is observed between the attorney and the counsel in a cause, the former being employed in the management of the more mechanical parts of the suit, the latter in attending to the pleadings, managing the cause at the trial, and in applying the law to the exigencies of the case during the whole progress of the suit. In other courts the same person can exercise the powers of each. See {Attorney}. --Kent. [1913 Webster]

{In counsel}, in secret. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

{To keep counsel}, or

{To keep one's own counsel}, to keep one's thoughts, purposes, etc., undisclosed. [1913 Webster]

The players can not keep counsel: they 'll tell all. --Shak.

Syn: Advice; consideration; consultation; purpose; scheme; opinion. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • keep one's own counsel — {v. phr.}, {formal} To keep your ideas and plans to yourself. * /John listened to what everyone had to say in the discussion, but he kept his own counsel./ * /Although everybody gave Mrs. O Connor advice about what to do with her house, she kept… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • keep one's own counsel — {v. phr.}, {formal} To keep your ideas and plans to yourself. * /John listened to what everyone had to say in the discussion, but he kept his own counsel./ * /Although everybody gave Mrs. O Connor advice about what to do with her house, she kept… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • keep one's own counsel — idi keep one s own counsel, to remain silent …   From formal English to slang

  • keep one's own counsel — keep one s ideas and plans to oneself He always keeps his own counsel and never really reveals his plans to anyone …   Idioms and examples

  • keep one's own counsel — verb To keep ones own business private; to be discreet, careful, or circumspect in what one says concerning ones own thoughts, deeds, or situation. Who wills, may keep his own counsel be his own secrets sovereign. Syn: keep ones cards close to… …   Wiktionary

  • keep\ one's\ own\ counsel — v. phr. formal To keep your ideas and plans to yourself. John listened to what everyone had to say in the discussion, but he kept his own counsel. Although everybody gave Mrs. O Connor advice about what to do with her house, she kept her own… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • keep one's counsel — verb a) To keep ones own business private; to be discreet, careful, or circumspect in what one says concerning ones own thoughts, deeds, or situation. As he held his mother to him, he longed to tell her all, but he kept his counsel …   Wiktionary

  • keep one's mouth shut — verb To keep a secret; to refrain from speaking indiscreetly or carelessly; broadly, to refrain from speaking altogether. He thought that he could get him a regular salary if he would come to Packingtown and do as he was told, and keep his mouth… …   Wiktionary

  • To keep counsel — Counsel Coun sel (koun s[e^]l), n. [OE. conseil, F. conseil, fr. L. consilium, fr. the root of consulere to consult, of uncertain origin. Cf. {Consult}, {Consul}.] 1. Interchange of opinions; mutual advising; consultation. [1913 Webster] All the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Counsel — Coun sel (koun s[e^]l), n. [OE. conseil, F. conseil, fr. L. consilium, fr. the root of consulere to consult, of uncertain origin. Cf. {Consult}, {Consul}.] 1. Interchange of opinions; mutual advising; consultation. [1913 Webster] All the chief… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”