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museum piece

something suitable for keeping and exhibiting in a museum.
something very old-fashioned or decrepit:
That car he drives is a museum piece.
Origin of museum piece
First recorded in 1900-05 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for museum piece
Contemporary Examples
  • Blues music is often treated like a museum piece, a relic from a bygone day, but this band will make you want to get up and dance.

Historical Examples
  • It was like a museum piece, or a bit of artillery on the field at a civil war reenactment.


    Cory Doctorow
  • Fig. 48 is a museum piece of the same period, the marquetry work on which is very fine—the top being most elaborately inlaid.

  • It's what your friend Ruthven Smith would call a 'museum piece,' if you showed it to him.

    The Second Latchkey

    Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
  • It was a museum piece, but the blue-black hull was as smooth and unblemished as the day it had left fabrication.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • To-day's monstrosity is day-after-tomorrow's art treasure just as today's museum piece is day-before-yesterday's monstrosity.

    The Abandoned Farmers Irvin S. Cobb
  • It was an animal rug, a museum piece; rubies and sapphires and emeralds and topaz melted into wool.

    The Pagan Madonna Harold MacGrath
  • The car was a museum piece, and as Warble caromed into its cushions she felt that her lines had fallen in pleasant places.

    Ptomaine Street Carolyn Wells
  • Anything that would float was being used since the war began, though a coal-burning ship was almost a museum piece.

    Morale Murray Leinster
  • In the beginning the street had been preserved as a museum piece while the cartel city had grown up around it.

    The Cartels Jungle Irving E. Cox, Jr.
British Dictionary definitions for museum piece

museum piece

an object of sufficient age or interest to be kept in a museum
(informal) a person or thing regarded as antiquated or decrepit
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 museum piece

museum piece

noun phrase

Something old-fashioned: His hat's a museum piece (1950s+)

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 museum piece

museum piece

An elderly or old-fashioned item or person, as in When are you going to sell that museum piece of a car? or Aunt Jane comes from another era—she's a real museum piece. This expression originated about 1900 for an article valuable enough for museum display but began to be used disparagingly from about 1915.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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