back burner

Where low-priority tasks figuratively reside. Typically used in the phrase "put (something) on the back burner." The phrase refers to the back burner of a stove, which is where pots are usually placed to simmer on low heat. I know you're eager to start on this new project, but I'm afraid it's going on the back burner—we just don't have the budget for it right now. You need to go to a doctor! You can't put your health on the back burner any longer!
See also: back, burner

on the back burner

Of a low priority; given less or little thought or attention; postponed or suspended. I think that painting the house should be on the back burner until we decide on what furniture we want to buy. I'm going to be putting work stuff on the back burner for a while after my son is born.
See also: back, burner, on

*on the back burner

Fig. [of something] on hold or suspended temporarily. (Alludes to putting a pot that needs less active attention on a back burner of a stove, leaving space for pots that need to be stirred. Compare this with on the front burner. *Typically: be ~; put something ~.) The building project is on the back burner for now. This matter was on the back burner for a long time.
See also: back, burner, on

on the back burner

COMMON If you put a project or issue on the back burner, you decide not to do anything about it until a later date. Note: A burner is one of the rings or plates on the top of a cooker. She put her career on the back burner after marrying her co-star two years ago. People's dreams have once again been put on the back burner as they concern themselves with survival from one day to the next. Note: Back burner is used in other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. Long-term health care advocates worry that the expense will push this issue onto a back burner. In this climate, website development is an obvious candidate for the back burner.
See also: back, burner, on

on the back (or front) burner

having low (or high) priority. informal
The metaphor here is from cooking on a stove with several burners of varying heat: food cooking at a lower temperature on a back burner receives or requires less frequent attention than that cooking at a high temperature on a front burner. Compare with the mainly North American expression cook on the front burner meaning ‘be on the way to rapid success’.
See also: back, burner, on

on the back ˈburner

(informal) (of an idea, a plan, etc.) left for the present time, to be done or considered later: The job was put on the back burner when more important assignments arrived.
A burner is one of the parts of a cooker/stove that produces a flame.
See also: back, burner, on

on the back burner

mod. out of the way; aside and out of consideration. (see also on the shelf.) We will have to put this on the back burner for a while.
See also: back, burner, on

on the back burner

As a low priority: kept the project on the back burner all summer.
See also: back, burner, on
References in periodicals archive ?
The government has put the Fata reforms issue on the backburner on the request of these allies and now they did not support us in the Senate,' he said apparently in a sarcastic manner.
Zarif denied that the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline has been placed on the backburner, expressing hope that any outstanding issues will soon be resolved via negotiations.
Our children should be Congress top priority, not forced to the backburner.
He lamented the process on the delaying tactics of the Fata-KP merger that putting on backburner the key issue would further increase the growing sense of deprivation of the among the tribal people.
We will make sure we have got something on the backburner ready for when Alex goes back to Fleetwood.
NICKY CADDEN insists Livingston must put their Betfred Cup quarter-final joy on the backburner and focus on Brechin.
Asif Ali Zardari had signed Pakistan-Iran pipeline deal but the project was put in the backburner by Nawaz government.
FAIR City's newest star has revealed he's put his studies on the backburner to follow his acting dream.
The FBR had placed sales tax refund claims on the backburner despite knowing it was urgent for the financially weak exporters.
Fury has no problem giving the 39-year-old his chance, even if it is in Germany again - and means any unification bout with WBC champion Wilder is put on the backburner.
That's to look forward to but we have to put that on the backburner now, totally.
Mirwaiz said Hurriyat Conference has always extended support to India- Pakistan dialogue process, he said, while adding that both the countries wouldn't make any headway if they keep Kashmir on backburner.
Why have all of these been put on the backburner when you have 282 members in the Lok Sabha", he said.
The Mirwaiz said that the BJP government in New Delhi must have understood that the genuine leadership of Kashmir and its people would never allow Kashmir dispute to be put on the backburner.
Long-anticipated visa deal, which was put on the backburner due to a friction between the two nations following the departure of American troops in 2012, is expected to particularly facilitate blossoming trade with Iraq.