1An issue of a periodical earlier than the current one.
- Also, partly moth-eaten back numbers of forgotten magazines of the 1950s or even earlier may catch your eye.
- But when I last visited the shop, the owner directed me to a pile of back numbers of a journal that was neither dead nor Indian.
- He had seen his exhibition advertised in a back number of the magazine and used one of his last two remaining postage stamps to send him photographs of his figures in pastel.
1.1 informal A person or thing seen as old-fashioned.
- Though he showed flashes of the old brilliance, fashionable opinion increasingly considered him obsolete, a back number from a bygone era.
- Not much past sixty, he began to regard and carry himself as an old man, not at all displeased to be considered a back number.
- It would be stupid to write him off as a back number on the strength of that Kempton run alone.
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Syllabification: back num·ber
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