Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

come out of the woodwork

To appear unexpectedly, or from unexpected places. No one had anything negative to say when I first pitched this idea, but now people are coming out of the woodwork to criticize it. Ever since Liam won the lottery, his so-called relatives have been coming out of the woodwork.
See also: come, of, out, woodwork

*out of the woodwork

Fig. out into the open from other places or a place of concealment. (*Typically: bring someone or something ~; come ~; creep ~.) When the cake appeared, all the office people suddenly came out of the woodwork.
See also: of, out, woodwork

out of the woodwork

Emerging from obscurity or a place of seclusion. It often is put as come (or crawl) out of the woodwork, as in The candidates for this job were coming out of the woodwork. The expression alludes to insects crawling out of the interior wooden fittings of a house, such as baseboards and moldings. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]
See also: of, out, woodwork

come out of the woodwork

If people come out of the woodwork they suddenly start publicly talking about something or making claims, when previously they said nothing. People are starting to come out of the woodwork to talk about fraudulent practices in the industry. Note: You can replace come with another verb such as crawl. The worst aspect of their decision for Britain is that it will now bring anti-Europeans crawling out of the woodwork once more. Note: People usually use this expression to show that they disapprove either of the sort of things that people are saying, or of the fact that they have only just started to say these things.
See also: come, of, out, 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

blend/fade into the ˈwoodwork

behave in a way that does not attract any attention; disappear or hide: I decided the best thing to do would be to try and fade into the woodwork and hope that no one noticed me.
See also: blend, fade, woodwork

come/crawl out of the ˈwoodwork

(informal, disapproving) if you say that somebody comes/crawls out of the woodwork, you mean that they have suddenly appeared in order to express an opinion or to take advantage of a situation: When he won the lottery, all sorts of distant relatives came out of the woodwork.
These idioms refer to the fact that insects or small animals, especially unpleasant ones, often hide in holes in wooden parts of a room or building.
See also: come, crawl, of, out, woodwork

out of the woodwork

Out of obscurity or a place of seclusion: People were coming out of the woodwork to apply for the desirable job.
See also: of, out, woodwork
References in periodicals archive ?
Like Mr Ward, my skills at woodwork were very limited.
5 After 30 minutes the filler can be sanded flush with the existing woodwork ready for painting.
But hairdresser Michelle, 32, hit out at Fife Council for not warning parents in advance about the woodwork classes.
Defeat ended Albion's unbeaten league home run, but stunned Mowbray refused to blame his players as Jason Koumas, twice, Kevin Phillips, Curtis Davies, Steve Watson and Jonathan Greening all rattled the woodwork.
For the last three years, it has also been the venue for the Wonders of Woodwork event.
Caines and Finnigan both went close to scoring with fine solo efforts but both were denied by the woodwork inside the last five minutes.
Dominic Woolland, spokesman for Sporting, reflected the views of sellers of Leeds when he said: "If you had sold you would have been cursing the fact that Leeds had hit the woodwork.
By becoming an exclusively online business, Australian Woodwork hopes to appeal more to a larger online market.
Summary: Nicolas Anelka was denied a dramatic late winner by the woodwork as Aston Villa maintained their impressive home record against Chelsea.
THE school master in your photograph of a woodwork lesson in 1932 in Hugh Bell school (31.
This combination of high-tech production and handcraftsmanship has proven to be very successful According to Greg Kasten, company president, Mortensen Woodwork is on track to achieve $22 million in sales for 2008.
A SPOKESMAN for Coventry City Council, said: "Following the loss of our woodwork tutor, we did provide temporary cover for the class with another tutor.
BOYS from Fartown Secondary Modern School try out two canoes they built in woodwork lessons in the dam of Clough House Mills in Birkby in July 1960.
Staff at Waterloo Woodwork, in Bacons End, Chelmsley Wood, are teaching adults with learning problems to create wooden masterpieces out of recycled timber.
In his three years at Manchester United, the Portuguese winger has hit the woodwork 47 times - 31 times against the crossbar and denied by a post on 16 occasions.