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1. A means of conveying information as an alternate to a regular avenue of communication, especially in government and diplomacy.
2. A usually subconscious utterance or gesture made by a listener in a conversation indicating that the listener is paying attention or understands what is being said.

back′chan′nel adj. & v.
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.


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) an unofficial or covert means of conveying information, originally or esp in political or diplomatic circles
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
ISLAMABAD -- Days before the Indian government decided revoke the special status of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad and New Delhi were in an advanced stage of backchannel talks to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New York next month.
On her visit to the court on Thursday, she said 'backchannel negotiations' on her father's predicament, Maryam Nawaz confirmed reports about her meeting with some 'quarters', but clarified that those she had met were not from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Duterte said the fate of the peace negotiations, which collapsed last year following a series of rebel offensives against government troops, would depend on backchannel efforts.
Earlier this week, Washington announced plans to hold a major conference in Manama, where US officials are expected to unveil the economic aspects of the "Deal of the Century", a backchannel US Israel-Palestine peace plan.
The likely appointment of NSA is meant for reviving the backchannel diplomacy with India to sort out some of the pressing issues between the two nuclear-armed neighbours, according to official sources privy to the development.
It is surprising that no backchannel diplomacy is used to show flexibility on this matter that is causing huge losses to both Indian and Pakistani flag carriers as well as foreign airlines,' an official said.
'Sa aming kuwentuhan on peace talk napag-usapan ang back-channel kaya sabi ni PRD (President Rodrigo Duterte) ay sige magbackchannel ka (In our conversation on peace talk, we talked about the backchannel. So PRD told me to backchannel),' Andal said.
Pero siyempre before doing that, kailangan muna mag-groundwork sa mga lider na nandito sa Pilipinas [I've been ordered to hold backchannel talks with leaders of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philip-pines), Joma who is the leader.
On top of that, the government has also started backchannel discussions with Qatar for some relief in terms of reduction in LNG prices or a relaxed payment schedule, but that is now at an early stage.
Sensing victory, the Congress promptly opened backchannel talks with the BSP, SP and Independents, who were leading at the time of counting.
The police were in contact with the suspects through backchannel negotiations which resulted in arrest of the accused.