Definition of the elephant in the room in English:

the elephant in the room

phrase

  • A major problem or controversial issue which is obviously present but is avoided as a subject for discussion.

    ‘they've steadfastly ignored the elephant in the room: the ever-growing debt burden on graduates’
    • ‘I also think the Small decisions are interesting because they completely avoid the elephant in the room: the Second Amendment.’
    • ‘They do an admirable job of laying out the data, and the financial issues facing societies with ageing populations, with one major exception: they ignore the elephant in the room.’
    • ‘It's time for both sides to acknowledge the elephant in the room: we are exporting America's quality of life.’
    • ‘Equally unhealthy is a refusal to admit there is another view or to admit the presence of the elephant in the room.’
    • ‘But the Iraq issue was the elephant in the room, the issue that the two leaders could not ignore.’
    • ‘I'm sorry, that is a big - that is the elephant in the room.’
    • ‘But the elephant in the room, as the policy grinds forward, is US corporate involvement in Colombia.’
    • ‘Here in Britain the issue of illegal immigration used to be like the elephant in the room that everyone pretended not to notice.’
    • ‘It's an OK article, but Rodriguez ignores the elephant in the room when discussing Kasparov's political fortunes in Russia: he's Jewish.’
    • ‘It's the elephant in the room that everybody avoids talking about, isn't it?’