sweep under the carpet
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to sweep under the carpet: fall short, at a loss, pull the rug out, in the midst of, worse for wear
sweep (something) under the carpet
To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one's reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the carpet. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the carpet. Nothing will get resolved like that!
sweep something under the carpet
1. Lit. to hide dirt by brushing it away under the edge of a carpet. He was in such a hurry with the cleaning that he just swept the dirt under the carpet. She swept the dirt under the carpet, hoping no one would find it.
2. Fig. to hide or ignore something. You made a mistake that you can't sweep under the carpet. Don't try to sweep it under the carpet. You are wrong!