[hohl-uh n-kawr-ner]


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-cor·ner [hohl-in-kawr-ner] /ˈhoʊl ɪnˈkɔr nər/.

Origin of hole-and-corner

First recorded in 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hole-and-corner

Historical Examples of hole-and-corner

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


    Leo Tolstoy

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

    The Big Drum

    Arthur Pinero

  • She knows the Neapolitans, and does not value them but for hole-and-corner defence.

    The Admiral

    Douglas Sladen

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

    Chance in Chains

    Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull

  • I request Geh'-bauer to send me two tickets, as some of my friends wish to attend your hole-and-corner music.

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