What does the idiom "meet behind closed doors" mean?

The expression meet behind closed doors is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the meet behind closed doors idiom.

Meaning of "meet behind closed doors"


The phrase “meet behind closed doors” is an idiom that means to secretly meet away from public view. It has a connotation of privacy, secrecy and confidentiality. It typically implies that the people involved in the meeting want to keep their activities out of the public eye and have some discretion or control over who is aware of the information being discussed.


The phrase “meet behind closed doors” is a relatively modern idiom that originated in the early 20th century. It most likely originated from a common practice of holding meetings privately and away from the public view. In the 19th century, meetings were often held behind closed doors in order to maintain discretion and privacy. This phrase was eventually adopted as an idiom to express the notion of privacy and secrecy in the context of meetings.


The phrase “meet behind closed doors” is used to express the idea of holding a private meeting away from public view. It is often used to imply that the contents of the meeting may be confidential and should not be shared with anyone else. It can also be used to describe a situation where two or more people come together to discuss a sensitive matter or to make an important decision that needs to be kept quiet.

Example Sentences

  • The two executives decided to meet behind closed doors to discuss the company's financial situation.
  • We need to meet behind closed doors to discuss our plans for the project.
  • The board of directors met behind closed doors to talk about the future of the company.
  • The members of the committee met behind closed doors to determine the best course of action.
  • The two parties agreed to meet behind closed doors in order to keep their negotiations private.

The meanings of the words in the "meet behind closed doors" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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