from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A room located at the rear.
  • n. The meeting place used by an inconspicuous controlling group.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or taking place in a backroom: backroom card games.
  • adj. Marked by the exercise of inconspicuous control and maneuvering: backroom politics.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A room near the rear of a premises, especially one only accessible to a privileged few and that can be used as an inconspicuous meeting place
  • adj. Of, relating to, or happening in a backroom
  • adj. Characterized by secrecy or anonymity

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the meeting place of a group of leaders who make their decisions via private negotiations.

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

  • n. a room located in the rear of an establishment; usually accessible only to privileged groups
  • n. the meeting place of a group of leaders who make their decisions via private negotiations


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It is especially appropriate to use the term backroom or back alley, as that is where poor women will be getting their abortions.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • Assemblyman Jerry Hill, a Democrat whose district includes San Bruno, said he was troubled by what he termed a "backroom deal," in which the utility would not admit wrongdoing.

    The Seattle Times

  • Free Press president Josh Silver expressed dismay over what he called backroom deals being brokered by the FCC and industry lobbyists without the presence of any public interest representatives.

    InformationWeek - All Stories And Blogs

  • Mintz, founding partner of law firm Mintz & Gold LLC in New York, lamented what he described as the backroom deal that was cut between Congress and the SEC to keep the SEC's failures secret.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • To her surprise, she's kept in what she describes as a backroom, where several women, dressed as nurses, want to speak with her about her life decisions.


  • As politicians jockey for positions and broker deals in backroom meetings, many Iraqis now say they wonder why they risked their lives to vote on March 7.

    Iraq breaks record for longest time with no government

  • Too often the interests of the community are betrayed in backroom deals.

    Arturo Vargas: Ready for This High-Stakes Process?

  • He has spent a lifetime standing courageously against a corrupted system that far too ofen has turned Washington into a house of ill repute run by closed fundraisers, secret meetings, and sweetheart deals bought in backroom auctions.

    Brent Budowsky: Russ Feingold: The Conscience of the Senate

  • If we elected him to Congress, he wouldn't engage in backroom deals or favor-trading, unless those favors were something he could trade for more cigars.

    Replace Christine O'Donnell with Cigar Guy

  • BTW, how much did it take in backroom deals to buy this group off for their support?

    Doctors' group endorses Senate health care bill


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