behind the scenes

Idioms & Phrases

behind the scenes

In secret or private, away from public view, as in His struggle for the top position took place strictly behind the scenes. This term alludes to the various activities that go on behind the curtain in theaters, out of the audience's view. [Late 1700s] Also see behind closed doors.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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