back channel


Definition of back channel 

: a secret, unofficial, or irregular means of communication

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Other Words from back channel

back-channel \ˈbak-​ˌcha-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of back channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Haspel used her contacts to successfully deliver the message through a back channel. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Five overshadowed stories spotlight Trump’s domestic priorities," 8 May 2018 The partner, Firas Tlass, an influential tycoon, could navigate back channels in a country with murky rules and bureaucracy. Liz Alderman, Elian Peltier And Hwaida Saad, New York Times, "‘ISIS Is Coming!’ How a French Company Pushed the Limits in War-Torn Syria," 10 Mar. 2018 On issues like Syria or even during the Iran negotiations, which began through a secret back channel in Oman, Mr. Obama prioritized his view of U.S. interests. Alina Polyakova, WSJ, "Trump Gives Europe a Wake-Up Call," 24 May 2018 Bannon's conversations, including a meeting Tuesday night between the former strategist and Trump confidants, have so far remained through back channels. The Washington Post,, "Steve Bannon pitching White House on proposal to reel in Mueller inquiry," 12 Apr. 2018 Blackstone Group Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman is also acting as a back channel between the two governments, said people familiar with the discussions. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "White House Retreats From Plans for Strict Limits on Chinese Investment," 27 June 2018 The financier, Gabriel Schulze, explained that a top North Korean official was seeking a back channel to explore a meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, who for months had traded threats of military confrontation. Mark Mazzetti,, "Financier worked to open a channel between Kushner and North Korea," 17 June 2018 Pyongyang maintains a diplomatic mission at the United Nations that often has served as a back channel with U.S. officials, although the meeting with Pompeo will not be at the U.N., according to the State Department. Eli Stokols,, "Diplomats hustle to prepare for still-uncertain Trump-Kim summit in Singapore," 29 May 2018 Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater and brother of Trump’s Education secretary, traveled to the Seychelles and met with a Putin ally in what European and Middle Eastern officials believe was another attempt to establish a back channel. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of back channel

1975, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for back channel

The first known use of back channel was in 1975

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