backstairs

backstairs
adjective Date: 1663 1. secret, furtive <
backstairs political deals
>
2. sordid, scandalous <
backstairs gossip
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Backstairs — Back stairs , Backstair Back stair , a. Private; indirect; secret; conducted with secrecy; intriguing; as if finding access by the back stairs; as, backstairs gossip. Syn: clandestine, cloak and dagger, hugger mugger, hush hush, on the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backstairs — Back stairs , Back stairs Back stairs (b[a^]k st[^a]rz ) n. Stairs in the back part of a house, as distinguished from the {front stairs}; a second staircase at the rear of a building; hence, a private or indirect way. [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backstairs — stairs at the back of a structure, 1650s, from BACK (Cf. back) (adj.) + stairs (see STAIR (Cf. stair)). Figurative use is attested earlier (1640s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • backstairs — [bak′sterz΄] adj. involving intrigue or scandal; secret: also backstair …   English World dictionary

  • backstairs — /bak stairz /, adj. 1. associated or originating with household servants. 2. secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip. Also, backstair. [1635 45; adj. use of BACK STAIRS] * * * …   Universalium

  • backstairs — back|stairs [ ,bæk sterz ] adjective INFORMAL secret and usually dishonest or illegal: backstairs deals among politicians …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • backstairs — adjective (only before noun) secret and probably unfair: backstairs influence …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • backstairs — UK [ˈbækˌsteə(r)z] / US [ˌbækˈsterz] adjective informal secret and usually dishonest or illegal backstairs deals …   English dictionary

  • backstairs — back•stairs [[t]ˈbækˈstɛərz[/t]] also back′stair′ adj. secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip[/ex] • Etymology: 1635–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • backstairs — noun /bækˈstɛəz/ (say bak stairz) 1. a secondary staircase, originally for servants. –adjective /ˈbækstɛəz/ (say bakstairz) Also, backstair. 2. indirect; underhand; clandestine: backstairs gossip …   Australian English dictionary

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