dead-letter

dead letter

noun
1.
a law, ordinance, etc., that has lost its force but has not been formally repealed or abolished.
2.
a letter that cannot reach the addressee or be returned to the sender, usually because of incorrect address, and that is sent to and handled in a special division or department (dead-letter office) of a general post office.

Origin:
1570–80

dead-letter, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
dead letter
 
n
1.  a letter that cannot be delivered or returned because it lacks adequate directions
2.  a law or ordinance that is no longer enforced but has not been formally repealed
3.  informal anything considered no longer worthy of consideration

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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