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

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

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

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

behind someone's back

without a person's knowledge and in an unfair or dishonourable way.
See also: back, behind

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

behind (one's) back

In one's absence or without one's knowledge.
See also: back, behind
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.
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.
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.
Iranian interrogators blindfolded the hostages and cocked guns behind their backs.
These officers are trying to work with one hand tied behind their backs.
They know who puts in something extra, who watches the second hand circle the clock and who calls them "Godzilla" behind their backs.
And Ward suggests that too often British planners have been working with at least one, and sometimes both, 'hands tied behind their backs.
Valley boss Curbishley (above) made his position clear at the end of an extraordinary week when Harry Redknapp of West Ham and Everton's Walter Smith came close to walking out over big-money transfers arranged behind their backs.
Opponents face each other on their knees with hands held behind their backs.
In "Armless," an excerpt from Strangers (1975), Maria Naidu and Michael Jahoda compulsively attack each other like fighting cocks while their arms are straitjacketed behind their backs.
First, the skeletons' hands are behind their backs with their wrists crossed, indicating they were forcibly bound.
We found that when companies do indeed compete with their supply chains, most are entering the battle with their technology arms tied behind their backs," says John Fontanella, senior vice president of supply chain research.