behind (one's) back

(redirected from behind their back)

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 ?
Moreover, among Women, we use language implying the utmost deference for their Sex; and they fully believe that the Chief Circle Himself is not more devoutly adored by us than they are: but behind their backs they are both regarded and spoken of -- by all except the very young -- as being little better than "mindless organisms".
More than one in three of those questioned said they had heard someone talking about them behind their back and some had a working relationship ruined by office gossips.
Van Geel claimed that Chelsea contacted Henk behind their back and although the English club have not, as yet, made any official comment about Ten Cate's imminent arrival, negotiations are ongoing.
A survey of 2,000 employees showed that office politics was alive and well across the UK, with one in three of those polled preferring to talk about someone behind their back.
A survey of 2,000 employees shows office politics are alive and well across the UK, with one in three of those polled preferring to talk about someone behind their back.
A survey of 2,000 employees showed that office politics was alive and well across the UK, with one in three of those polled preferring to talk about someone behind their back. The poll also found that many people believed a healthy amount of mickey-taking was good for the working atmosphere.
1 Traditional apple bobbing: "You simply take a bowl of water and put some apples in then the kids have to try and get one out with their mouth while holding their hands behind their back. You can make it even harder by making them wear a blindfold."
forces were sent into Vietnam with one hand tied behind their back with the result that three nations fell to the communist menace.
in Cuba, some of whom were photographed kneeling on the ground, with their hands behind their back, wearing hoods or blacked-out goggles.
Having been in that house it's impossible not to talk about people behind their backs.
POLICE Community Support Officers should be given more power to fight crime without having "one arm tied behind their backs", the union Unison has said.
TWO-faced Charley and Nicky backed the twins to make it to the final - but branded them "robots" behind their backs.
Iranian interrogators blindfolded the hostages and cocked guns behind their backs.
In the article, Salihee and his coauthor document how victims show up at the morgue blindfolded, with their hands tied or cuffed behind their backs. Most showed signs of Abu Ghraib style torture.