back channel

noun

Definition of back channel

: a secret, unofficial, or irregular means of communication

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from back channel

back-channel \ ˈbak-​ˌcha-​nᵊl How to pronounce back-channel (audio) \ adjective

Examples of back channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, a fellow Republican, has appeared either officially or through back channels to be undermining DeWine since the start of the pandemic. cleveland, "Gov. Mike DeWine faced pressure to rapidly scale back coronavirus restrictions. He didn’t cave.," 27 Apr. 2020 Around 1970, Robert Ames, a C.I.A. agent, had opened a back channel to the informant, Ali Hassan Salameh, who headed the personal security force and counterintelligence unit under Yasir Arafat, the P.L.O. chairman. Sam Roberts, New York Times, "Frank Anderson, Former Spy Who Supplied Afghan Insurgents, Dies at 78," 19 Feb. 2020 The emir’s visit to Iran was one of many diplomatic forays aimed at calming regional tensions and keeping back channels open. Washington Post, "High-gear diplomacy aims to avert U.S., Iran conflict," 13 Jan. 2020 Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s private attorney, was working the back channels while European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, applied pressure directly from the U.S. government. The Denver Post Editorial Board, The Denver Post, "Editorial: President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office," 17 Dec. 2019 Around 1970, Robert Ames, a CIA agent, had opened a back channel to the informant, Ali Hassan Salameh, who headed the personal security force and counterintelligence unit under Yasir Arafat, the PLO chairman. Sam Roberts, BostonGlobe.com, "Frank Anderson, former spy who supplied Afghan insurgents, dies at 78," 19 Feb. 2020 Special counsel Robert Mueller's 2018 investigation into Russian collusion in the presidential election found a back channel between Wikileaks and the Russian Directorate of the General Staff, or GRU. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "White House calls Assange accusations a 'total fabrication'," 19 Feb. 2020 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu frequently boasts of back channel relations with Arab countries that do not have formal ties with the Jewish state. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World," 26 Jan. 2020 Around that time, Giuliani, who had joined Trump’s legal team months earlier, began talks with individuals who were part of the back channel to Maduro. Washington Post, "Trump’s lawyer and the Venezuelan president: How Giuliani got involved in back-channel talks with Maduro," 29 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'back channel.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of back channel

1975, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about back channel

Time Traveler for back channel

Time Traveler

The first known use of back channel was in 1975

See more words from the same year

Statistics for back channel

Cite this Entry

“Back channel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/back%20channel. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Comments on back channel

What made you want to look up back channel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!