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or backstair

[bak-stairz] /ˈbækˈstɛərz/
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for backstairs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "That's truth enough," said an asthmatic voice from the backstairs.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • The road to eminence lay by the "backstairs," the atmosphere of which he could not endure.

    The Ship of Fools, Volume 1 Sebastian Brandt
  • 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

    Walter Besant
  • We will go to my room by the backstairs, then we sha'n't disturb anybody.

    Unlucky Caroline Austin
  • He wasn't groom of the backstairs to England's queen for nothing.

    The Lion and The Mouse Charles Klein
  • Morris handed him a quarter and he shuffled off toward the backstairs.

    Abe and Mawruss Montague Glass
  • A backstairs way of discrediting a master before his servants.

    The Road to Damascus August Strindberg
  • One was sometimes disposed to wonder whether he did not think too much about the backstairs.

    Studies in Contemporary Biography

    James Bryce, Viscount Bryce
British Dictionary definitions for backstairs


plural noun
a secondary staircase in a house, esp one originally for the use of servants
underhand: backstairs 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
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Word Origin and History for backstairs

"stairs at the back of a structure," 1650s, from back (adj.) + stairs (see stair). Figurative use is attested earlier (1640s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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