sweep something under the rug

sweep (something) under the rug

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. Primarily heard in UK. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the rug. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the rug. Nothing will get resolved like that!
See also: rug, sweep

sweep something under the rug

mainly AMERICAN
If you sweep something under the rug, you try to hide it and forget about it because it makes you feel embarrassed or ashamed. Executives swept the theft under the rug, hoping to avoid being accused of mismanagement by directors and shareholders. Some of the most appalling crimes went unpunished, swept under the rug in order to placate the military. Note: Other verbs such as brush and push are sometimes used instead of sweep. You can't just brush this one under the rug. Note: The usual British expression is sweep something under the carpet.
See also: rug, something, sweep