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.
He saw in the foreground Pilate's irritated face and the serene face of Christ, and in the background the figures of Pilate's retinue and the face of John watching what was happening.
There had always been some fear, some constraint, lurking in the background behind everybody, everybody - except you, my friend.
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.
In the background a volcano crater was silhouetted against the stars.
To their right was the village, separated from them only by one level stretch of meadowland; in the background, the hall.