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 How to pronounce back-channel (audio) \ adjective

Examples of back channel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What’s not entirely clear is what the back channel would have been for. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "If there was “no collusion” why did the Trump transition team work so hard to set up a back channel with Russia?," 8 Mar. 2018 Now, the president’s attorney does not restrict his pardon offers to back channels, nor feel compelled to deny such unseemly machinations in public. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Giuliani: Trump Might Need to ‘Clean Up’ Mueller Probe With Pardons," 15 June 2018 Without a two-way cable network, a standard analog modem must be used as a back channel. Popular Mechanics, "The Death of the Internet," 7 Feb. 2019 Back-channel skeptics Key officials at the State Department, which continued on a parallel track to work though North Korean diplomats in New York and sent envoys on rare trips to North Korea, were aware of the back channel. Michael R. Gordon, WSJ, "U.S. and North Korean Spies Have Held Secret Talks For a Decade," 21 Jan. 2019 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

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

23 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for back channel

The first known use of back channel was in 1975

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grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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