the power behind the throne

noun phrase
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of the power behind the throne

: the person who secretly controls a country, organization, etc., by controlling the actions and decisions of the official leader
  • He's the company president, but his assistant is the (real) power behind the throne.

Word by Word Definitions

power play
  1. : ability to act or produce an effect

  2. : ability to get extra-base hits

  3. : capacity for being acted upon or undergoing an effect

  1. : to supply with power and especially motive power

  2. : to give impetus to

  3. : to move about by means of motive power

  1. : operated mechanically or electrically rather than manually

  2. : of, relating to, or utilizing strength

  3. : of, relating to, or being a meal at which influential people discuss business or politics

behind play
  1. : in the place or situation that is being or has been departed from

  2. : in, to, or toward the back

  3. : later in time

  1. : in or to a place or situation in back of or to the rear of

  2. used as a function word to indicate something that screens an observer

  3. : following in order

  1. : buttocks

throne play
  1. : the chair of state of a sovereign or high dignitary (such as a bishop)

  2. : the seat of a deity

  3. : royal power and dignity : sovereignty

  1. : to seat on a throne

  2. : to invest with kingly rank or power

  3. : to sit on a throne


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