Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a goldfish bowl
A place, situation, or environment in which one has little or no privacy. A reference to the (typically) spherical bowls in which pet fish are often kept, which can be seen into from all sides. One of the prices of success for a pop star is having to live in a goldfish bowl under the scrutiny of the public eye. I feel like I'm in a goldfish bowl working at this new company, with all their security cameras posted everywhere.
A situation affording no privacy, as in Being in a goldfish bowl comes with the senator's job-there's no avoiding it. The glass bowl allowing one to view goldfish from every direction was transferred first, in the 1920s, to a police interrogation room equipped with a one-way mirror. By the mid-1900s the expression was being used more broadly.