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 classic literature ?
Anna Mikhaylovna stepped forward and, stooping over the dying man, beckoned to Lorrain from behind her back. The French doctor held no taper; he was leaning against one of the columns in a respectful attitude implying that he, a foreigner, in spite of all differences of faith, understood the full importance of the rite now being performed and even approved of it.
However, the police used a Taser on him and then arrested him. While the officers were busy catching Medlin, Wilson was reportedly left unattended with her hands cuffed behind her back.
Corrie legend Rita Tanner is set to lose her beloved Kabin corner shop - after close friend Norris Cole sells it behind her back.
"Behind Her Back" is a deftly crafted and thoroughly gripping novel of power, rivalry, and backstabbing.
Ore and attempted to force her hands behind her back while Ore questioned the basis for the stop." The officer then said, "Put your hands behind your back right now; I'm going to slam you on this car, put your hands behind your back." In trying to force Ore against the vehicle, the officer "aggressively swung Dr.
KIM Kardashian West yesterday confessed she feels uncomfortable watching her sisters talk behind her back on television.
He said after he fell on the floor his wife stepped back with the knife behind her back and fell on the couch Vita said she then sat with her head bowed and told him to "go up and finish it" and he took the knife from behind her back and went to his room and tried to commit suicide.
When Ms Christopher answered the door, yet again Arnold was standing there and seemed to have something hidden behind her back and, when she refused to leave, Ms Christopher went outside and pushed her away.
KERRY Katona was close to splitting from husband Mark Croft after finding he sold pounds 25,000 of her shares behind her back.
Her hands were tied behind her back with her dogs' leads before she was drowned, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
Let her know that, because you don't want people talking behind her back, you have to tell her something that might hurt her feelings.
The court heard that when Mr Falconio pulled over to look at the problem he was attacked and Miss Lees was tied up with her hands bound behind her back, assaulted and threatened with a gun, before she managed to escape into the bush.
She was found in a nightgown on the floor with her hands tied behind her back with part of her nightgown and a telephone cord.