Elephant in the room

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The phrase elephant in the room is a colloquial phrase referring to any issue which is 1) too large to be ignored, 2) will not go away on its own accord, but 3) which no one wants to handle, or even acknowledge in some cases.

The matter itself can become a taboo subject, and anyone trying to address the matter is hushed up, shunned, belittled or even punished.