- an out-of-date issue of a serial publication.
- Informal. anything out-of-date.
Origin of back number
Examples from the Web for back number
He had judged Dunwoodie old, back-number, living in the past.The Paliser case
No scoutin' around for back-number restaurants, as I'd planned at first.Torchy and Vee
I had never even seen a bomb before, and always associated them with the playful humor of the now back-number anarchist.Fighting the Boche Underground
Harry Davis Trounce
He understands the business as none of us back-number, old-fashioned ones do; he took hold and shook some life into it.The Flying Mercury
Eleanor M. Ingram
He smiled wanly and asked for his mail, which consisted only of a pile of back-number copies of a newspaper.Land of the Burnt Thigh
Edith Eudora Kohl
- an issue of a newspaper, magazine, etc, that appeared on a previous date
- informal a person or thing considered to be old-fashioned
Idioms and Phrases with back number
Dated, out of style. For example, That hat is really a back number, or The game has changed so fast that a player who returns to the circuit after several years' absence usually finds he or she is a back number. This term originally referred to back issues of periodicals, which are no longer newsworthy. [Late 1800s]