back-or·​der | \ ˈbak-ˌȯr-dər How to pronounce back-order (audio) \
back-ordered; back-ordering; back-orders

Definition of back-order

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to assign to the status of back order

back order


Definition of back order (Entry 2 of 2)

: a business order yet to be fulfilled because stock is unavailable

Examples of back-order in a Sentence

Noun The book I want to buy is a back order and won't be shipped for three weeks. The book I want to buy is on back order and won't be shipped for three weeks.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Not surprisingly, the deal -- which comes out to $2.50 per mask -- has been popular and is on back order. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Old Navy’s 5 for $12.50 cloth face masks bundles for adults and children are back (how to find and purchase online)," 1 July 2020 The masks are on back order but are expected to ship bu June 16 of you order now. Mark Heim |, al, "Face mask options to fight the summer heat, reasonably priced and available," 29 May 2020 Not surprisingly, the deal -- which comes out to $2.50 per mask -- has been popular and is on back order with a shipping date around June 7. Kristen Davis, cleveland, "Old Navy selling 5 cloth face masks for just $12.50 for adults, children online," 9 May 2020 Businesses in Georgia and Tennessee will soon reopen as governors in the states peel back orders issued to curb the spread of coronavirus. Leada Gore |, al, "Georgia, Tennessee announce plans to reopen businesses, end stay at home orders," 20 Apr. 2020 The practice has only 75 plastic thermometer covers left, and supplies are on back order. Jenny Gold,, "Bay Area pediatric practices struggle to adapt and survive during coronavirus pandemic," 21 Apr. 2020 The design was based on an existing face shield which medical technicians told Calagaz was currently on back order through July from the Wuhan District of China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. William Thornton |, al, "Mobile company’s face shields shipped to multiple states," 19 Apr. 2020 Crowlers, the large aluminum cans that can typically hold two pints, are on back order. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "American craft brewers were already in trouble. Then came coronavirus," 27 Mar. 2020 Many laboratories have complained about shortages and back orders of reagents, chemical solutions that are key components of testing kits. Anchorage Daily News, "Shortages of face masks, cotton swabs and basic supplies pose a new challenge to coronavirus testing," 19 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'back-order.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of back-order


1901, in the meaning defined above


1887, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for back-order

Time Traveler

The first known use of back-order was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Back-order.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for back-order

back order


English Language Learners Definition of back order

chiefly US, business : a product that has been ordered but not sent to the customer because it is not yet available

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