a dark horse, Idioms and Phrases, Idioms, Phrases, Idiomatic Expression

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a dark horse

a dark horse

a person, especially a competitor, about whom little is known.

The expression was originally horse-racing slang. The earliest recorded use was by Benjamin Disraeli in 1831. A dark horse, which had never been thought of rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.


keep someone dangling

keep someone, especially a would-be suitor, in an uncertain position.

keep someone in the dark

ensure that someone remains in a state of ignorance about something

2003 - Village Voice - It's payback time for an administration that has ignored lawmakers and deliberately kept them in the dark.

keep something dark

keep something secret from other people.

1993 - New York Review of Books - Ottoline was determined to keep her affair with Russell safe from Bloomsbury's prying eyes and she and Russell went to Feydeauesque lengths to keep their secret dark.

a shot in the dark = a stab in the dark

an act whose outcome cannot be foreseen

a mere guess

The metaphorical use of in the dark to mean “in a state of ignorance" dates from the late 17th century.

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