13 Essential Literary Terms


[bak-dawr, -dohr] /ˈbækˈdɔr, -ˈdoʊr/
secret; furtive; illicit; indirect.
Also, back-door.
1605-15; adj. use of back door Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for backdoor
  • The first is an old-fashioned backdoor inquiry: ie, snooping.
  • It's there in the original post and it's there in the backdoor-trickle-down economics of the east-coast lawyer.
  • Had an awesome but kinda chilly clear night, a great view from right outside the backdoor.
  • One argument is that intervention may be a backdoor route to reflation.
  • Our tipping culture is a backdoor to actually paying service staff a decent wage.
  • But, they were happy to push for this deficit increasing, backdoor stimulus plan.
  • Weekly backdoor collection for the elderly and handicapped.
  • Adopted by county board, subject to backdoor referendum.
  • Cayce's family came home to find her missing and the backdoor open.
  • These backdoor appointments are the exact opposite of the transparency that this administration promised.
Word Origin and History for backdoor

also back-door, "devious, shady, illegal," 1640s. The notion is of business done out of public view. The noun back door in the literal sense is from 1520s, from back (adj.) + door. The association with sodomy is at least from 19c.; cf. also back-door man "a married woman's lover," black slang, early 20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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