Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

back-alley

[bak-al-ee]
See more synonyms for back-alley on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. dirty, unprepossessing, sordid, or clandestine: back-alley morals; back-alley political schemes.
Show More

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

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