Definition of cone of silence in English:

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cone of silence


1An imaginary device that prevents eavesdropping on a private conversation.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Example sentences
  • 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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