Entry from US English dictionary
1An imaginary device that prevents eavesdropping on a private conversation.
- Residents and the media were denied access to the roads that service the area, creating a virtual cone of silence.
- So the closet in professional sport is literally a massive cone of silence and the door swings both ways in gender bias.
- However he might be advised to use the cone of silence from time to time.
1.1An electronic device or isolated room intended for the same purpose.
- The cone of silence, called Babble, is actually a device composed of a sound processor and several speakers that multiply and scramble voices that come within its range.
2A directive that prohibits oral communication about a specified subject.
- Adding to the intrigue is ‘NW owner Corus' dropping of the cone of silence on the affair.
- The latter may well involve the use of firewalls, cones of silence, and other appropriate techniques.
- Less amusing is the cone of silence too often used these days by public companies.
2.1An agreement or conspiracy to maintain secrecy about a subject.
- Since we have pre-paid parking, I should be able to get out fast afterwards and maintain the cone of silence concerning the game's result until I get safely home.
- But he tosses aside the cone of silence that party faithful maintain around their president.
- Will the scandal - and CBS's reluctant willingness to break the cone of silence about the use of torture - finally lead to a serious investigation?
1960s: originally a fantasy prop in the television series Get Smart.
For editors and proofreaders
Syllabification: cone of si·lence
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