back channel


: a secret, unofficial, or irregular means of communication
back-channel adjective

Examples of back channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The idea that there’s a secret back channel has also circulated in European capitals, though officials deny knowing anything about it., 25 Jan. 2024 Signaling through public statements or communicating through unofficial back channels would all help, according to Hsiao. Lily Kuo, Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2024 Still, once in office, Mr. Trump used him as a back channel to the Chinese leadership. David E. Sanger, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Finally, five years and four months after Mr. Shalit was captured, their back channel bore fruit. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 Starting in 2006, Gershon Baskin, an Israeli peace activist based in Jerusalem, and Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official in Gaza, nurtured an informal back channel between officials in Jerusalem and in Gaza, even as each side refused to engage with the other directly. Patrick Kingsley, New York Times, 19 Nov. 2023 Meanwhile, out in the world, the suspicion grew that Moscow and Tel Aviv maintained a very deep back channel of intelligence sharing on Iran and Syria. Melik Kaylan, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Neither side is keen to advertise the existence of these back channels. Isobel Koshiw, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 Besides the efforts of U.S. officials, the release also followed months of back channel negotiations involving Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a frequent emissary in hostage talks, and his top deputy, Mickey Bergman. Eric Tucker, Matthew Lee, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'back channel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of back channel was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near back channel

Cite this Entry

“Back channel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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