the elephant in the room

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(the) elephant in the room

An obvious truth or fact, especially one regarded as embarrassing or undesirable, that is being intentionally ignored or left unaddressed. We all sat sipping our tea quietly; no one wanting to bring up the elephant in the room about Joel's expulsion from college.
See also: elephant, room

the ˌelephant in the ˈroom

a serious problem that everyone is aware of but which they ignore and choose not to mention: The growing budget deficit is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about.
See also: elephant, room
References in periodicals archive ?
It was thought Top Gear borrowed the model, since nicknamed Jeremy, to appear as a visual gag about the elephant in the room - the absence of Clarkson.
It's time to stand up and face the elephant in the room.
Bryant, race may be the elephant in the room no one wants to talk about.
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