under the counter


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under the counter

Fig. [bought or sold] in secret or illegally. (Compare this to over the counter.) The drugstore owner was arrested for selling liquor under the counter. The clerk sold dirty books under the counter.
See also: counter

under the counter

if something is bought or sold under the counter it is bought or sold secretly or in a way that is not legal Many of his books are banned and only available under the counter.
See also: counter

under the counter

Secretly, surreptitiously, as in I'm sure they're selling liquor to minors under the counter. This expression most often alludes to an illegal transaction, the counter being the flat-surfaced furnishing or table over which legal business is conducted. It was first recorded in 1926. Also see under the table.
See also: counter

under the counter

In an illegal or surreptitious manner; illicitly: arrested for selling prescription drugs under the counter.
See also: counter