“The elephant in the room” is an idiom that refers to an obvious problem, issue, or awkward situation that is not being addressed.
The phrase suggests that there is a significant matter of which everyone in a group is aware, but they’re choosing to ignore or avoid it, often because it is uncomfortable or problematic to acknowledge or discuss it.
The imagery of an elephant in a room is used because an elephant is too big to easily ignore.
So, if there were an actual elephant in the room, then it would be hard to overlook or avoid.
The phrase is thus used to highlight how people sometimes willfully ignore or avoid addressing serious issues or problems.
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