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 Israeli official also said Israel has used back channels to communicate with the Shiite group's leader in Lebanon, Hasan Nasrallah. Matt Gutman, ABC News, 28 Jan. 2024 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

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 15 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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