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backdoor

or back-door

[bak-dawr, -dohr]
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adjective
  1. secret; furtive; illicit; indirect.

Origin of backdoor

First recorded in 1605–15; adj. use of back door
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for backdoor

adj.

also back-door, "devious, shady, illegal," 1640s. The notion is of business done out of public view. The noun back door in the literal sense is from 1520s, from back (adj.) + door. The association with sodomy is at least from 19c.; cf. also back-door man "a married woman's lover," black slang, early 20c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper