Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. clandestine, secret or furtive

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A stair or stairs in the back part of a house; private stairs.
  • Of or pertaining to stairs in the back part of a house: as, a backstair entrance.
  • Indirect; underhand; unfair; intriguing: as, backstair influence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. secret and sly or sordid

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • We went clapping up a clean stone backstair, and then into a back passage cheerfully decorated with ragged light-green Kidderminster, and issued upon

    The Book of Snobs

  • I descended a stair corresponding with that backstair, as I am told, up which Madame had led me only the night before.

    Uncle Silas

  • A few days later we learned that Newt Gingrich was resentful over his accommodations and what he viewed as the unceremonious backstair exit offered him and other guests when the plane arrived at Andrews Air Force Base.

    Living History

  • A servant's footfalls creaked on a distant backstair.

    The Silicon Mage

  • It is these kitchen and backstair men who are to be encouraged, the men who know the subject in hand in all possible relationships.

    The Student Life

  • He had not appreciated that, from underlings and backstair politicians, an itinerant showman like Stetson and the only son of an American Croesus would receive very different treatment.

    The Red Cross Girl

  • What have you, an ardent disciple of music, to do in such a land where favouritism and backstair influence win the day over even the merits of a Schubert?

    A Romance of Two Worlds

  • To know, he will have us go in at the great door of obedient faith; and if anybody thinks he has found a backstair, he will find it land him at a doorless wall.

    Warlock o' Glenwarlock

  • King, and privy to his dangerous secrets -- exerted all his backstair influence to forward the promotion of Kerr, by whom he was, doubtless, repaid in some way or other.

    Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions — Volume 2

  • Overbury, the king's secretary -- who appears, from some threats in his own letters, to have been no better than a pander to the vices of the king, and privy to his dangerous secrets -- exerted all his backstair influence to forward the promotion of Kerr, by whom he was doubtless repaid in some way or other.

    Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

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