power behind the throne
A person with great influence who stays behind the scenes and has no apparent authority. For example, Harry may be the CEO, but it's obvious that his wife is the power behind the throne. [Mid-1800s]
The Mystery Behind April’s Name
Mark Twain once wrote: “This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” Twain’s referring to the first day of April or, as it’s often known, April Fools’ Day. While the first day of the fourth month of the year is sure to bring plenty of shenanigans (will you be the perpetrator or the …
The Suffocating History Behind The Word “Nightmare”
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.