What Is Another Way to Say “Elephant in the Room”?

Looking for synonyms for elephant in the room? We’ve got you covered!

Here’s a list of other ways to say elephant in the room.

  • Unaddressed issue
  • Taboo topic
  • Ignored problem
  • Undiscussed subject
  • Overlooked matter
  • Unspoken concern
  • Silent issue
  • Unacknowledged problem
  • Invisible obstacle
  • Unmentioned topic
  • Hidden issue
  • Unresolved issue
  • Lingering question
  • Open secret
  • Unconfronted issue

Want to learn how to say elephant in the room professionally? Keep reading for examples and use cases.

1. Unaddressed Issue

Used when a problem exists but has not yet been discussed or resolved.
Example: “The lack of diversity in leadership is an unaddressed issue that we need to confront.”

2. Taboo Topic

Appropriate for subjects that are considered inappropriate or unacceptable to discuss openly.
Example: “Mental health in the workplace is often seen as a taboo topic, despite its importance.”

3. Ignored Problem

Describes a situation where a known problem is deliberately overlooked or neglected.
Example: “Climate change remains an ignored problem in many industries resistant to change.”

4. Undiscussed Subject

Used for topics that have not been openly talked about or examined.
Example: “Salary disparities within the company are an undiscussed subject that affects morale.”

5. Overlooked Matter

Refers to an issue that has been missed or not considered.
Example: “The impact of remote work on team dynamics is an overlooked matter that requires attention.”

6. Unspoken Concern

Describes worries or problems that are felt but not voiced.
Example: “There’s an unspoken concern among employees about job security in the digital transformation era.”

7. Silent Issue

Similar to unspoken concern, it refers to problems that exist but are not discussed.
Example: “The silent issue of workplace burnout needs to be addressed to improve employee well-being.”

8. Unacknowledged Problem

Used when an issue is known but not officially recognized or admitted.
Example: “The digital divide is an unacknowledged problem that hinders equal access to education.”

9. Invisible Obstacle

Describes barriers that are not immediately apparent or are hidden.
Example: “Cultural differences can be an invisible obstacle to effective international collaboration.”

10. Unmentioned Topic

Refers to subjects that everyone is aware of but nobody talks about.
Example: “The CEO’s retirement plans are an unmentioned topic within the company.”

11. Hidden Issue

Used for problems that are not visible on the surface but exist beneath.
Example: “Hidden issues in the codebase can lead to major security vulnerabilities.”

12. Unresolved Issue

Describes a problem that has been identified but not solved.
Example: “The unresolved issue of data privacy continues to challenge tech companies.”

13. Lingering Question

Refers to questions or doubts that remain after discussion or over time.
Example: “The lingering question of the company’s direction post-merger remains a concern for stakeholders.”

14. Open Secret

Used for information that is officially secret but known by many.
Example: “The project’s cancellation was an open secret before the official announcement.”

15. Unconfronted Issue

Describes a problem that has been neither faced nor resolved.
Example: “The unconfronted issue of outdated policies is holding back organizational progress.”

Linda Brown