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Back number

an out-of-date issue of a serial publication.
Informal. anything out-of-date.
Historical Examples

If I’ve got to be a back number I want to romp right back far enough to have some fun out of it.
At Good Old Siwash George Fitch

If I have I’m a back number—and I’d a great deal rather be dead.
The Harbor Ernest Poole

I am a back number; I am out of date; I was a loafer and a blackguard.
The Exiles and Other Stories Richard Harding Davis

Yes ma’am, I’ve read it and I’ve found out what a back number I’ve been.
Cap’n Dan’s Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln

Bob Pillin walked beside him, thinking: ‘Poor old josser, he is gettin’ a back number!’
Five Tales John Galsworthy

Jim realized that he was a back number, but he hung on just the same.
The Easiest Way Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

A man of large experience and important achievement said to me not long ago: “I am afraid I am getting to be a back number.”
The Young Man and the World Albert J. Beveridge

“Oh, well, it’s not so bad for a back number,” answered Matt.
Motor Matt’s Daring, or, True to His Friends Stanley R. Matthews

You once nobble that, congregation, and a buck joyride to heaven becomes a back number.
Ulysses James Joyce

He’s a back number, and I’ll tell her so, too, if she asks me to say any of her old pieces.
Aunt ‘Liza’s Hero and Other Stories Annie Fellows Johnston

an issue of a newspaper, magazine, etc, that appeared on a previous date
(informal) a person or thing considered to be old-fashioned

noun phrase

Someone or something out of date; has-been: Mr Stale is a back number (1880s+)
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 ]


Read Also:

  • Back o’ beyond

    remote; out-of-the-way; isolated.

  • Back o’ bourke

    adverb (Austral) in a remote or backward place

  • Back of

    the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine. the part of the body of animals corresponding to the human back. the rear portion of any part of the body: the back of the head. the whole body, with reference to clothing: the clothes on his […]

  • Back of beyond

    remote; out-of-the-way; isolated. Extremely remote. For example, John’s about to move to some tiny island, truly back of beyond. This term, used as a humorous exaggeration, relies on the meaning of beyond (or the beyond) as “a distant place, beyond human experience.” [ Early 1800s ]

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