Definition of backstairs in English:


plural noun

  • 1Stairs at the back or side of a building.

    • ‘He sipped the coffee while she went up the backstairs.’
    • ‘He ran down the backstairs to the pool and into the diner so that none of them will know he had done it.’
    • ‘The voices emanate from the kitchen, at first, but soon she hears the sound of feet running up the backstairs - closely followed by set of heavier footsteps.’
    • ‘She used the backstairs so she wouldn't see Jared yet.’
    • ‘Just prior to the formal tour I led an unofficial tour of random colleagues from assorted units on a wild goose chase round the backstairs.’
    • ‘I suddenly heard scuffling about down the hall, so I proceeded carefully down to the small chapel down the hall, near the backstairs that led down to the kitchen.’
    • ‘Sam grabbed her hand and pulled her up the backstairs to his room.’
    • ‘Mallory quietly went up the backstairs and stopped in the library facing four huge walls full of all sorts of books.’
    • ‘Places (we often called them that instead of farms) that I knew about all had either stairs or backstairs to the servants quarters, so I was quite surprised to see that at Beamish ladders had been the order of the day.’
    • ‘Regardless, I sat outside on the backstairs watching the jackdaws gathering above and the sheep on the mountain opposite.’
    • ‘And say, ‘Let's get a hustle on back down backstairs, this wind is about to blow us both overboard!’’
    • ‘He slipped into the alley and up the backstairs.’
    • ‘‘And he wonder's why I worry,’ she mumbled a she rushed down the backstairs hoping to surprise the fighting party.’
    • ‘The handrail was highly polished and unlike the dark and narrow backstairs there was no squeaky stair, no stair you had to avoid for fear your foot would fall through.’
    • ‘She weaved through a couple occupied tables before clambering up the backstairs to the apartment up above.’
    1. 1.1as modifier Underhand; clandestine.
      ‘I won't make backstairs deals with politicians’
      • ‘The book uses the fourth Doha meeting to trace how the so called Quad - the US, EU, Canada and Japan - use backstairs intrigue and ‘green room meetings’ to get their way.’
      • ‘There has been some backstairs grumbling by elected officials who signed on with him during the dot-com-boom phase of his candidacy, but his union support is holding firm.’
      • ‘The images of abuse of royal power and of backstairs corruption are the main issues that he must counter.’
      • ‘Had this questionnaire been produced two years ago, before Museum Services were accused (no doubt unjustly) of backstairs negotiations, the questions would have been highly appropriate.’
      • ‘He, on the other hand, loves the intrigue, the subtle manipulation, the backstairs chicanery, and there's no one better to convey it.’
      • ‘Think bewildering numbers of parties, unexpected coalitions and backstairs scheming - but in the end it's the monopoly man that wins out.’
      • ‘Eager hints would become rhapsodic proclamations; backstairs whispers would be babbled aloud in the corridors of the complex.’
      • ‘He got the white heat of corruption thanks to a Yorkshire architect who was later convicted for his part in a scandal of backstairs planning and bribes.’
      • ‘The camp has felt able to display a high degree of serenity in recent days, affecting a distance from the apparent skullduggery and backstairs dealings, in the sincere belief that things are moving the Chancellor's way.’
      • ‘He said: ‘I sense that there may be the stench of a backstairs stitch-up.’’
      • ‘The real reason is that she is ashamed of New Labour's backstairs manoeuvres to starve the nursery nurses back to work.’
      • ‘This redoubtable lady had to be shown a backstairs exit to a seedy little alley behind the building where the Lib Dems announced the result of their leadership race on Thursday, so that she could have a fag.’
      • ‘The surprise leaks and backstairs briefings are familiar after six years in government, as is the whiff of intrigue and rivalry between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.’
      • ‘No praise is high enough for him… over recent weeks he has been victim of critical backstairs briefing from senior colleagues against his decision to highlight immigration as an election issue and other alleged mistakes.’
      • ‘It is truly incredible that the favoured solution for politicians of all persuasions in the current scandal about undeclared backstairs loans is that we, the taxpayers, should be the solution.’
      • ‘The real strength of his play lies in its backstairs portrait of the horrors of English hotel life.’
      • ‘He reveals details of boardroom machinations and backstairs skirmishes which only a fly on the wall could have witnessed.’
      • ‘However, Article 51 seals the churches' special status and lends them yet more opportunity for backstairs dealing, without being subject to the same democratic checks and balances as the rest of civil society.’
      • ‘Insurers are increasingly refusing to pay cash to claimants because they can cut costs by replacing goods through backstairs deals with store groups.’
      • ‘Was there a motive at work under this strange reluctance of his which had a sort of backstairs influence, not admitted to himself?’
      deceitful, underhanded, dishonest, dishonourable, disreputable, unethical, unprincipled, immoral, unscrupulous, fraudulent, cheating, dubious, dirty, unfair, treacherous, duplicitous, double-dealing, below the belt, two-timing, two-faced, janus-faced, unsporting, unsportsmanlike
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