smoke-filled room

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smoke-filled room

A secluded, private place hidden from the knowledge of the public. Usually refers to deals and policies made in business and politics, and often implies a degree of questionable ethics or scruples. What we're discovering now is that the heads of the studios decided in a smoke-filled room nearly 60 years ago to implement policies that would ensure no competitors would intrude on their lucrative market. People are becoming increasingly frustrated that our entire lives are dictated by a powerful few in smoke-filled rooms in Washington.
See also: room

smoke-filled room

a room where a small group of people make important decisions. (Usually used in reference to political parties.) The smoke-filled rooms are still producing the candidates for most offices, despite all the political reforms. The deal was cut in a smoke-filled room.
See also: room

a smoke-filled room

COMMON If someone says that a political or business decision is made in a smoke-filled room, they mean that it is made by a small group of people in a private meeting, rather than in a more democratic or open way. We're not going to see a return to the smoke-filled room, in which a few ministers and company bosses made all the decisions. Note: This was first used to refer to the suite in the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago where Warren Harding was chosen as the Republican presidential candidate in 1920.
See also: room

smoke-filled room

n. a room where a small group of people make important decisions. (Usually used in reference to political parties.) The smoke-filled rooms are still producing the candidates for most offices, even as we approach the year 2000.
See also: room
References in periodicals archive ?
Tina Williams, Smoke Free Wirral project co-ordinator, said: ``Unlike adults who have a degree of choice,children are far less likely to be able to leave a smoke filled room.
I can see the point of non-smokers who don't want to be in a smoke filled room.
It was half-empty, but instead of the blinding haze of a smoke filled room I could actually breathe freely and see the counter from where I sat.
At one time it was elected councillors who made decisions behind closed doors in smoke filled rooms, but this was at least democratic.
On the occasions I've visited Westminster, men in suits in smoke filled rooms is as good a description of life around the members' bars and dining rooms as any I've heard.
Heavy smoke filled rooms and landings above and below.
Perhaps they saw the personal touch of a leader to leader phone call as looking too much like deal making in smoke filled rooms.