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[hohl-uh n-kawr-ner] /ˈhoʊl ənˈkɔr nər/
secretive; clandestine; furtive:
The political situation was full of hole-and-corner intrigue.
trivial and colorless:
She was living a hole-and-corner existence of daily drudgery.
Also, hole-in-corner
[hohl-in-kawr-ner] /ˈhoʊl ɪnˈkɔr nər/ (Show IPA)
Origin of hole-and-corner
First recorded in 1825-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for hole-and-corner
Historical Examples
  • No one could say that it was a hole-and-corner business, far less that the assembly was packed.

  • As being preferable to hole-and-corner meetings in friends' houses——!

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
  • Maybe, some little deadly act of meanness, some hole-and-corner treachery?

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • There was to be no hole-and-corner business about the great coup.

    Chance in Chains Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • It was obvious that we had many friends, that we were not going to be tried in a hole-and-corner fashion.

    Prisoner for Blasphemy G. W. [George William] Foote
  • I request Geh'-bauer to send me two tickets, as some of my friends wish to attend your hole-and-corner music.

  • I won't believe—I can't—that you like this underground, hole-and-corner existence, this life that is dishonest all through.

    The Wharf by the Docks Florence Warden
  • The Swiss had had enough of electioneering tricks, hole-and-corner revolutions, and paper compacts.

  • "Oh, it is a hole-and-corner business, and God only knows why," he answered.

    Youth Leo Tolstoy
  • I want no hole-and-corner confession, which may afterwards be useless, but an open avowal before the most approved witnesses.

    Hilda Wade Grant Allen
British Dictionary definitions for hole-and-corner


(usually prenominal) (informal) furtive or secretive
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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