vanish into the woodwork

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vanish into the woodwork

To recede or absent oneself from public view; to become or remain hidden in society. The former movie star, never one to vanish into the woodwork, launched a very successful chain of restaurants and eventually ran for public office in Washington state. I think people expected us to vanish into the woodwork after the referendum results, but we made sure to stay firmly in the eye of the public.
See also: vanish, woodwork

vanish into (or come or crawl out of) the woodwork

(of an unpleasant person or thing) disappear into (or emerge from) obscurity. informal
The implication here is that the people or things concerned are like cockroaches or other unpleasant creatures living in the crevices of skirting boards and cupboards.
See also: vanish, woodwork
References in periodicals archive ?
And thanks to his low-profile management of the Mob, by 1976 when Gambino died peacefully in his bed at the age of 73, the Mafia had apparently vanished into the woodwork.