associated or originating with household servants.
secret, underhanded, or scandalous:
Which means that every seat contains someone who is reclining straight into the lap of their backstairs neighbor.
Should People Stop Reclining Their Seats? Megan McArdle February 19, 2013
But I hope one of the results of this war will be the end of backstairs diplomacy.
Face to Face with Kaiserism James W. Gerard
“That’s truth enough,” said an asthmatic voice from the backstairs.
The Manxman Hall Caine
At that moment, Mary Ellen, having heard the voice of her mistress, projected her face above the doorsill of the backstairs.
Explorers of the Dawn Mazo de la Roche
We will go to my room by the backstairs, then we sha’n’t disturb anybody.
Unlucky Caroline Austin
Jewel found the backstairs and ascended them, her little heart hot within her.
Jewel Clara Louise Burnham
He wasn’t groom of the backstairs to England’s queen for nothing.
The Lion and The Mouse Charles Klein
The backstairs one would not choose; but what other way was there?
The Lady of Lynn Walter Besant
Verus was no schemer; he walked in at the front door with a free and careless step, and scorned to climb the backstairs.
The Emperor, Complete Georg Ebers
But where, oh, where was the exiled Phelan when the bogus Gladwin went on his backstairs investigation?
Officer 666 Barton W. Currie
a secondary staircase in a house, esp one originally for the use of servants
underhand: backstairs gossip
“stairs at the back of a structure,” 1650s, from back (adj.) + stairs (see stair). Figurative use is attested earlier (1640s).
- Back stairs
stairs at the back of a house, as for use by servants. a means of intrigue. Historical Examples Beauty must exert what power it could in the boudoir and on the back stairs. Lola Montez Edmund B. d’Auvergne The housekeeper made a hasty exit by way of the back stairs. The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln […]
Machinery. a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism. Building Trades. an anchored tension member, as a cable, permanently or temporarily supporting a compression member, as a tower or pole, subject to a pull above its base from the opposite direction. a strip of leather at the back of a shoe used for reinforcement and […]
stitching or a stitch in which the thread is doubled back on the preceding stitch. to sew by backstitch. Historical Examples Insert one thickness between the other two ends, and backstitch closely. Make Your Own Hats Gene Allen Martin Here each little diamond is worked in simple outline stitch, and each square outlined with backstitch. […]
a wall, wire screen, or the like, serving to prevent a ball from going too far beyond the normal playing area. Baseball. the catcher. a person or thing that serves as a support, safeguard, or reinforcement: There were technicians on board as backstops to the automated controls. to act as a backstop. to act as […]