behind (one's) back

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behind (one's) back

In one's absence. The phrase typically suggests wrongdoing or deceit. I can't believe you were gossiping about me behind my back! Tom will be upset that we already made the decision behind his back.
See also: back, behind
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

behind someone's back

without someone's knowledge; secret from someone. Please don't talk about me behind my back. She sold the car behind his back, while he was away on vacation.
See also: back, behind
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

behind someone's back

Out of one's presence or without someone's knowledge, as in Joan has a nasty way of maligning her friends behind their backs. Sir Thomas Malory used this metaphoric term in Le Morte d'Arthur (c. 1470): "To say of me wrong or shame behind my back." [Early 1300s]
See also: back, behind
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

do something behind someone's back

COMMON If someone does something behind your back, they do it secretly, to harm you. It's horrible to have people laughing at you behind your back. He's been arranging all this behind my back.
See also: back, behind, something
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

behind someone's back

without a person's knowledge and in an unfair or dishonourable way.
See also: back, behind
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

behind somebody’s ˈback

without somebody knowing, especially because they would not like it: I feel guilty about going behind his back and complaining to the boss.People were often very rude about her behind her back. OPPOSITE: to somebody’s face
See also: back, behind
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

behind (one's) back

In one's absence or without one's knowledge.
See also: back, behind
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Last night's political row erupted after Sir Richard told a newspaper that ministers had left commanders trying to do their job "with at least part of one arm tied behind one's back".
He claimed it left the military "with at least part of one arm tied behind one's back".
Surrounded by a waterline drawn just above one's shoulders, Chicory Miles's melodramatic The Churning of the Milk (2008) video of Katrina's aftermath is projected on the wall, with fabric panels gusting behind one's back like sheets set out to dry.
Then, to live, in denial of the room behind one's back,
These excerpts reveal the poet's philosophical concerns: "Estoy en el paraiso: libros, ritmo, luz, ningun agobio urbano, y encima no hay ni viejos americanos, latosos y mal acostumbrados, ni senores profesores de quinta fila reluciendo punales tras tus espaldas, [??]Solavaya!" (I am in paradise: books, rhythm, light, no urban problems, and above all, no old American guys, nasty and bad-mannered, no second-tiered professors showing their shining knives behind one's back. Vade retro!).
Anonymous muckraking documents and talking behind one's back are rampant.