smokefilled room

smoke-filled room

[smohk-fild, -fild]
noun
a place, as a hotel room, for conducting secret negotiations, effecting compromises, devising strategy, etc.

Origin:
1915–20

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

smoke-filled room definition


A popular expression used to describe a place where the political wheeling and dealing of machine bosses (see machine politics) is conducted. The image originated during the Republican presidential nominating convention of 1920, in which Warren G. Harding emerged as a dark horse candidate.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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