Behind The Times

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Also: Behind the time

Meaning of Idiom 'Behind the Times'

To be behind the times means be old-fashioned or not modern; not keeping up with current thinking, ideas, trends, methods, technologies, fashion, etc. 1,2

Usage Examples

"I'm so behind the times. I still have a flip-phone."

"My father still thinks women should stay home take care of the house. He is so behind the times."

"It has become clear that this administration is behind the times and out of touch with the people."


Used since the mid-1800's.

Charles Dickens used this expression in Dombey and Son in 1848:

"I'm old-fashioned, and behind the Time." 2

1. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.
2. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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