- 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
Examples from the Web for back-alley
There wasn't any use making a back-alley dash for it, as we didn't know the lay of the land and they were between us and New York.Shorty McCabe
They pour in from everywhere—from every highway and byway and back-alley—a regular tidal wave.Beyond the Marne
As for Pete Hilliard's crowd and their small-town, back-alley ways of amusing themselves—hell!Rough-Hewn