- taking place in secrecy and often illegally: back-street political maneuvering; back-street drug dealing.
Origin of back-street
- a street apart from the main or business area of a town.
Origin of back street
Examples from the Web for back-street
The “Sporting Doctor” hails from a back-street in the Blackfriars-road.The Seven Curses of London
Then he escaped by the window into a back-street; I followed him, but he was too quick for me.The Thin Red Line; and Blue Blood
Its mother ran shrieking out of some back-street hard by, in time to see the little bleeding body carted up in a mangled heap.The Sorrows of Satan
Personally, he was subjected to no further annoyance, and soon forgot that unpleasant experience in the back-street.The Secret Glory
Mr. Porcupine, innocently believing him, left his country hedgerows, and took a garret in a back-street in London.Comical People
Idioms and Phrases with back-street
Also, back alley. A less prominent or inferior location; also, a scene of clandestine or illegal dealings. For example, The highway department is very slow to clear snow from the back streets, or Before they were made legal, abortions were often performed in back alleys. Although back street literally means “one away from the main or business area of a town or city,” this term, from the early 1600s, became associated with underhanded dealings, and back alley, from the mid-1800s, is always used in this sense.