- associated or originating with household servants.
- secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip.
Origin of backstairs
First recorded in 1635–45; adj. use of back stairs
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backstairs
Which means that every seat contains someone who is reclining straight into the lap of their backstairs neighbor.Should People Stop Reclining Their Seats?
February 20, 2013
"That's truth enough," said an asthmatic voice from the backstairs.The Manxman
The road to eminence lay by the "backstairs," the atmosphere of which he could not endure.The Ship of Fools, Volume 1
But I hope one of the results of this war will be the end of backstairs diplomacy.Face to Face with Kaiserism
James W. Gerard
The backstairs one would not choose; but what other way was there?The Lady of Lynn
We will go to my room by the backstairs, then we sha'n't disturb anybody.Unlucky
- a secondary staircase in a house, esp one originally for the use of servants
- underhandbackstairs gossip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for backstairs
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper