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secret; furtive; illicit; indirect.
Contemporary Examples

That’s happening thanks to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Survillence Act, the very “backdoor” discussed here.
It’s Time to Shut the NSA’s Backdoor Used to Spy on Americans Geoffrey R. Stone July 2, 2014

That is a typically Russian feature, by banning, they will just awake our interest to find a backdoor.
The Kremlin’s Rock ‘n Roll Revisionism Anna Nemtsova April 26, 2014

The defenders of backdoor searches argue that the same rule should apply in the section 702 situation.
It’s Time to Shut the NSA’s Backdoor Used to Spy on Americans Geoffrey R. Stone July 2, 2014

Whether this was a gift or a loan or a backdoor investment in the new venture is unknown.
The Billionaire Pedophile’s Sex Den Conchita Sarnoff July 21, 2010

She could run and hide in one of the classrooms with the rest of the children and teachers or even make it out the backdoor.
The Woman Who Stopped a School Shooting Caitlin Dickson January 21, 2014

Historical Examples

The last Royalist defender of safe measures had vanished through the backdoor.
Lectures on the French Revolution John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

It was as though he had walked round the house of literature, and peeped in at the backdoor.
A Great Man Arnold Bennett

Early next morning, he tied up his clothes in his handkerchief, crept downstairs noiselessly and let himself out by the backdoor.
Babylon, Volume 1 (of 3) Grant Allen

Instantly the backdoor assumed the chief position of interest.
The Leavenworth Case Anna Katherine Green

When within a short distance of the old house a backdoor suddenly opened and fule-Tammy came out carrying a peat-keschie.
Viking Boys Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby


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.


Read Also:

  • Backdoor man

    backdoor man noun phrase A married woman’s lover; jody (1960s+ Black)

  • Backgate parole

    backgate parole noun phrase The death of a prisoner from natural causes (1920s+ Prison)

  • Backdoor selling

    noun the sale of goods by wholesalers directly to consumers in violation of agreements with retailers

  • Backdoor trots

    backdoor trots noun phrase Diarrhea (1700s+ British, now chiefly Canadian)

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