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back number

an out-of-date issue of a serial publication.
Informal. anything out-of-date.
Origin of back number
1805-15, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for back-number
Historical Examples
  • He understands the business as none of us back-number, old-fashioned ones do; he took hold and shook some life into it.

    The Flying Mercury Eleanor M. Ingram
  • He had judged Dunwoodie old, back-number, living in the past.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • There were three for Marcia, and one—in old Thompson's back-number copperplate—for Dudley.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • No scoutin' around for back-number restaurants, as I'd planned at first.

    Torchy and Vee Sewell Ford
  • I had never even seen a bomb before, and always associated them with the playful humor of the now back-number anarchist.

    Fighting the Boche Underground Harry Davis Trounce
  • He smiled wanly and asked for his mail, which consisted only of a pile of back-number copies of a newspaper.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • I wish tasteless, conventional, and machine-made architecture were as much of a "back-number" in England as it is here.

  • It was written in Thompson's careful, back-number copperplate, perhaps not so careful as usual, but his unmistakably.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery Susan Carleton Jones
  • Those men haven't got any use for a back-number old place like this.

    The Copy-Cat and Other Stories Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for back-number

back number

an issue of a newspaper, magazine, etc, that appeared on a previous date
(informal) a person or thing considered to be old-fashioned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for back-number

back number

noun phrase

Someone or something out of date; has-been: Mr Stale is a back number (1880s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with back-number

back number

Dated, out of style. For example, That hat is really a back number, or The game has changed so fast that a player who returns to the circuit after several years' absence usually finds he or she is a back number. This term originally referred to back issues of periodicals, which are no longer newsworthy. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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