The elephant in the room

Idiom

The elephant in the room

Definition

The elephant in the room is an idiom used to describe an obvious truth or problem that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge.

Examples

No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room – the fact that our company is going bankrupt.

I can’t believe she didn’t even mention the elephant in the room – the fact that she got a promotion and the rest of us didn’t.

The elephant in the room is that none of us have the skills to do the job.

He was so uncomfortable, it was like the elephant in the room was suffocating us.

We can’t ignore the elephant in the room any longer – we have to have a serious discussion about our future.

Origin

This expression may have originated in the early 20th century and is thought to refer to a large, obvious problem or truth that is too sensitive to talk about.

FAQs

What does it mean?

The elephant in the room is an idiom used to describe an obvious truth or problem that no one wants to talk about or acknowledge.

Where does it come from?

This expression may have originated in the early 20th century and is thought to refer to a large, obvious problem or truth that is too sensitive to talk about.

What are some examples?

No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room – the fact that our company is going bankrupt. I can’t believe she didn’t even mention the elephant in the room – the fact that she got a promotion and the rest of us didn’t.