- dirty, unprepossessing, sordid, or clandestine: back-alley morals; back-alley political schemes.
Origin of back-alley
An Americanism dating back to 1860–65
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Idioms and Phrases with back alley
see under back street.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.