back-order

verb
Updated on: 9 May 2018

Definition of back-order

: to assign to the status of back order

First Known Use of back-order

1901

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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back order

noun

Definition of back order

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

Examples of back order in a Sentence

  1. The book I want to buy is a back order and won't be shipped for three weeks.

  2. The book I want to buy is on back order and won't be shipped for three weeks.

Recent Examples of back order from the Web

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.

First Known Use of back order

1887

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Financial Definition of BACK-ORDER

back order

What It Is

A back order is an order that cannot be filled in the usual time expected.

How It Works

John Doe purchases 10 tractors from a tractor dealer. The retailer has four on hand to ship; it has to wait for the factory to make the rest, which could take three or four months. The six missing tractors are back orders, and John Doe will receive them later.

Why It Matters

Many companies cannot easily predict how products will move. Though back orders can be an occasional side-effect of just-in-time  inventory and other efforts at efficient operations, back orders are usually not great for customer relations -- particularly during the holidays or for products that are "hot." Some companies measure their back order activity as part of their efforts to analyze inventory and purchasing. After all, a back order might indicate that a company has a hot product, but too many back orders can send customers into the arms of competitors.


BACK-ORDER Defined for English Language Learners

back order

Definition of back order for English Language Learners

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


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