Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

sweep under the (carpet/rug)

sweep under the carpetsweep under the rug
Meaning(s)
1) ignore or conceal something
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional MediumSocial
    • you can't just sweep a problem under the rug and hope it goes away
  • Analysis
    When you sweep something under the carpet or sweep something under the rug it means to pretend it doesn't exist or to hide it in order to avoid confronting it or in the hope that it will be forgotten about. This idiomatic expression is based on the idea of sweeping dust underneath the carpet or rug in your home so that visitors cannot see how dirty your house is.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. Sweeping the problem under the rug is not going to make it go away. We need to address it head on and find a solution.
    2. I tried to talk to him about my concerns but he just swept them under the carpet.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. For years staff have complained about their poor working conditions, but the Board have always swept their complaints under the carpet. That's why they felt they had no choice but to take strike action.
    2. Sarah tried to sweep her mistake under the rug, but the legal team picked up on it. Now she's in much more trouble than if she had just admitted to it in the first place.
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