under-the-counter[un′dər t̸hə ko̵un′tər]
under-the-counter definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Informal done, sold, given, etc. secretly in an unlawful or unethical way
under-the-counter definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
adverb & adj.
Transacted, given, or sold illicitly.
under-the-counter - Business Definition
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Business Terms Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Of or describing a secret transaction. For example, prescription drugs were illicitly purchased under the counter.
under-the-counter - Phrases/Idioms
Secretly, surreptitiously, as in I'm sure they're selling liquor to minors under the counter. This expression most often alludes to an illegal transaction, the counter being the flat-surfaced furnishing or table over which legal business is conducted. It was first recorded in 1926. Also see under the table.