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A secret goal or an ulterior motive. I didn't trust Julie when she started being really nice to me out of the blue. It felt like she had a hidden agenda. I'm starting to wonder if the boss has a hidden agenda because he promised me the job but now he won't return my calls.
(a) hidden agenda
Fig. a secret plan; a concealed plan; a plan disguised as a plan with another purpose. I am sure that the chairman has a hidden agenda. I never did trust him anyway.
a hidden agenda
COMMON If someone has a hidden agenda, they are secretly trying to achieve something while they appear to be doing something else. The unions fear these tactics are part of a hidden agenda to reduce pay and conditions throughout the company. The hidden agenda of the Government's prison privatisation policy seems to have been exposed. Note: An agenda is a list of things that need to be dealt with, for example at a meeting.
a hidden agendaa person's real but concealed aims and intentions.
1993 New Scientist I hear that the physics community is fearful the government has a hidden agenda and intends eventually to close the Daresbury Laboratory.