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[bak-al-ee] /ˈbækˈæl i/
dirty, unprepossessing, sordid, or clandestine:
back-alley morals; back-alley political schemes.
Origin of back-alley
An Americanism dating back to 1860-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for back-alley
Historical Examples
  • 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 Sewell Ford
  • They pour in from everywhere—from every highway and byway and back-alley—a regular tidal wave.

    Beyond the Marne Henriette Cuvru-Magot
  • As for Pete Hilliard's crowd and their small-town, back-alley ways of amusing themselves—hell!

    Rough-Hewn Dorothy Canfield

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