Sweep under the rug – Idioms by The Free Dictionary

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sweep (something) under the rug

To ignore, deny, or conceal from public view or knowledge something that is embarrassing, unappealing, or damaging to one’s reputation. The senator has been accused of trying to sweep his former drug use under the rug. You need to stop sweeping your problems under the rug. Nothing will get resolved like that!

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

sweep under the rug

Hide something, as in Their attempts to sweep the scandal under the rug were not very successful. This idiom alludes to sweeping dust under the rug, so it won’t be seen. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sweep under the rug

To avoid discussing or dealing with (something negative or troubling).

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

sweep (something) under the rug, to

To conceal something. This allusion to hiding household dust or debris by sweeping it under a rug or carpet was used figuratively only from the mid-twentieth century. It appeared in the Boston Globe in 1979: “Attempts to sweep the Chappaquiddick scandal under the rug have not succeeded.”

The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer

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