/bak"stairz"/, adj.
1. associated or originating with household servants.
2. secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip.
Also, backstair.
[1635-45; adj. use of BACK STAIRS]

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Backstairs — Back stairs , Backstair Back stair , a. Private; indirect; secret; conducted with secrecy; intriguing; as if finding access by the back stairs; as, backstairs gossip. Syn: clandestine, cloak and dagger, hugger mugger, hush hush, on the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backstairs — Back stairs , Back stairs Back stairs (b[a^]k st[^a]rz ) n. Stairs in the back part of a house, as distinguished from the {front stairs}; a second staircase at the rear of a building; hence, a private or indirect way. [1913 Webster + WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backstairs — stairs at the back of a structure, 1650s, from BACK (Cf. back) (adj.) + stairs (see STAIR (Cf. stair)). Figurative use is attested earlier (1640s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • backstairs — [bak′sterz΄] adj. involving intrigue or scandal; secret: also backstair …   English World dictionary

  • backstairs — adjective Date: 1663 1. secret, furtive < backstairs political deals > 2. sordid, scandalous < backstairs gossip > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • backstairs — back|stairs [ ,bæk sterz ] adjective INFORMAL secret and usually dishonest or illegal: backstairs deals among politicians …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • backstairs — adjective (only before noun) secret and probably unfair: backstairs influence …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • backstairs — UK [ˈbækˌsteə(r)z] / US [ˌbækˈsterz] adjective informal secret and usually dishonest or illegal backstairs deals …   English dictionary

  • backstairs — back•stairs [[t]ˈbækˈstɛərz[/t]] also back′stair′ adj. secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip[/ex] • Etymology: 1635–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • backstairs — noun /bækˈstɛəz/ (say bak stairz) 1. a secondary staircase, originally for servants. –adjective /ˈbækstɛəz/ (say bakstairz) Also, backstair. 2. indirect; underhand; clandestine: backstairs gossip …   Australian English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.