in the background


Also found in: Idioms.
References in classic literature ?
Having suspected from the first that there was a gentleman in the background, it is highly satisfactory to know that he recedes into the remote perspective of Asia.
Never had he been at such an altitude of living, and he kept himself in the background, listening, observing, and pleasuring, replying in reticent monosyllables, saying, "Yes, miss," and "No, miss," to her, and "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am," to her mother.
There had always been some fear, some constraint, lurking in the background behind everybody, everybody - except you, my friend.
To their right was the village, separated from them only by one level stretch of meadowland; in the background, the hall.
The forms in the background looked like unearthly beings, gliding before the eye, and cleaving the air with frantic and unmeaning gestures; while the savage passions of such as passed the flames were rendered fearfully distinct by the gleams that shot athwart their inflamed visages.
But round in the background there were a number of poor things, sadly broken down with hard work, with their knees knuckling over and their hind legs swinging out at every step, and there were some very dejected-looking old horses, with the under lip hanging down and the ears lying back heavily, as if there were no more pleasure in life, and no more hope; there were some so thin you might see all their ribs, and some with old sores on their backs and hips.
Still the Cathedral Tower rises in the background, where it cannot be, and still no writhing figure is on the grim spike.
But even if he got over this obstacle, there was another waiting for him in the background.
Nor shall I say more of the silent figure in the background, always in the background, always near my mother.
The management was excellent, as was to be expected with anything that Henry undertook; one was conscious of his sensible and generous brain in the background.
It dawned upon me to what end the puma and the other animals-- which had now been brought with other luggage into the enclosure behind the house--were destined; and a curious faint odour, the halitus of something familiar, an odour that had been in the background of my consciousness hitherto, suddenly came forward into the forefront of my thoughts.
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness.