sweep under the rug

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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. 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sweep under the rug

Hide something, as in Their attempts to sweep the scandal under the rug were not very successful. This idiom alludes to sweeping dust under the rug, so it won't be seen. [Mid-1900s]
See also: rug, sweep
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.

sweep under the rug

To avoid discussing or dealing with (something negative or troubling).
See also: rug, sweep
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.

sweep (something) under the rug, to

To conceal something. This allusion to hiding household dust or debris by sweeping it under a rug or carpet was used figuratively only from the mid-twentieth century. It appeared in the Boston Globe in 1979: “Attempts to sweep the Chappaquiddick scandal under the rug have not succeeded.”
See also: sweep, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Interestingly, a central thread to those principles is a performance review, both of the board as a whole and that of individual directors--the latter a flaw that too many boards have long been willing to sweep under the rug.
"This is more evidence that the energy crisis was not a California-created problem, but rather market manipulation by the energy pirates that FERC was ready to sweep under the rug." The agreement calls for El Paso to give California consumers $1 billion in discounts on natural gas and power purchases over the next 20 years.
From the perspective of events, J'accuse marked Zola's emergence as a key participant, but as a piece of political journalism, it is neither as compelling nor as incisive as the letters written in 1899-1900 to protest an amnesty bill intended to sweep under the rug what remained of the affair.
A Few Good Men suffers similarly from a subtext the playwright, Aaron Sorkin, has tried to sweep under the rug. It is, even so, a pretty good play, and it has been given a production that maximizes all its virtues, with Tom Hulce (who played Mozart in the movie of Amadeus) as a teddy bear of a defense attorney in a military court-martial and Stephen Lang as a psychotically gung-ho Marine Corps Lieutenant colonel, whom the audience recognizes, from his first sharkish smile, as the real villain, for whom the defendants, two enlisted men blindly obeying orders, are taking the rap.
She is right, of course; we should not air our dirty linen in public and just sweep under the rug everything wrong that this administration does.
"It's not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can't just dismiss it like it wasn't anything, or I don't take it seriously," Rihanna (http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/10/rihanna-cover-cuba-annie-leibovitz) told Vanity Fair .
I would never condone, sweep under the rug or refuse to take any step to ensure we did not eradicate any behavior of this kind," Madigan wrote in a letter to Democratic caucus members on Friday.