Dictionary: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Back channel

a secret, unofficial, or informal channel of communication as used in politics or diplomacy:
sensitive information passed on through a back channel.
Contemporary Examples

“It immediately erupted into this back channel of gossip,” Benedetto remembers.
A Most Illegal Adventure with New York City’s Wildest Underground Event Planners Nina Strochlic December 15, 2013

The house becomes a back channel of sorts, as the men mingle over drinks and cigars and cultivate business deals.
The Business of Sex: Amy Tan’s ‘The Valley of Amazement’ on Shanghai Courtesans Jane Ciabattari November 7, 2013

The new uprising in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar makes it imperative to get back to the back channel and finish the talks.
Worse Than Afghanistan Bruce Riedel September 24, 2010

Historical Examples

We were trying to get up a slue, or back channel, by a short cut, and the stern-wheel never spun twice in the same direction.
From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling

Occasionally the racket from the back channel could be heard above the tumult.
The God of His Fathers Jack London

The filter was operated from 1899 until the fall of 1907 with raw water taken from what is known as the “back channel.”
Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, vol. LXXII, June, 1911 E. D. Hardy


a secret, indirect, or irregular means of communication, esp. for sensitive government and diplomacy matters
Word Origin

Usage Note

back channel, adj; back channel, v


Read Also:

  • Backchat

    repartee. back talk. noun (informal) the act of answering back, esp impudently noun Impertinent and provocative replies, esp to a superior, elder, etc; back talk, sass (1800s+ British military)

  • Back-check

    to skate back toward one’s defensive zone obstructing or impeding the movement or progress of one or more opponents on attack. Compare check1 (def 15), fore-check. to check over or through; review: Back-check the files to see if the patient’s records are there.

  • Back clearance

    runout (def 1b).

  • Back clipping

    a word formed by omitting the last part of the form from which it is derived.

Disclaimer: Back channel definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.