Definition of backstreet in English:



  • 1A minor street away from the main roads.

    ‘we took a short cut through the backstreets of Kings Cross’
    as modifier ‘a backstreet garage’
    • ‘However, that made her even more surprised when, only a few exits later, the car turned back off the thruway and into a maze of backstreets and alleys.’
    • ‘We had to maneuver for hours, trying different fruitless backstreets, before breaking onto open highway.’
    • ‘We left the park and walked back via backstreets to the hotel.’
    • ‘Then they burst from the backstreets and the alleyway onto a large empty thoroughfare.’
    • ‘It's got brilliant little backstreets and candy lanes of bars in attics and basements around Plaza Nueva.’
    • ‘Turn right out of Gare du Nord and it's only a short walk through the backstreets to Montmartre, a bohemian hill with spectacular views across the city.’
    • ‘I walk the backstreets and gravelly car-parks for at least half an hour and fail to find a single game in progress.’
    • ‘She floated through the maze of alleys and backstreets, craning her neck, her eyes searching.’
    • ‘I found it depressing to think of all those kids stuck, bored, in some dismal backstreet pub in London or Leysdown whilst their uninterested parents booze away hundreds of pounds.’
    • ‘Instead of giving me worn phrases I could find in travel brochures, why can't she write about the culture, the people, and backstreet nooks and crannies that elude most tourists?’
    • ‘Still, I enjoyed our jaunt through the backstreets of Brighton with a bottle of wine in each hand, as we made our way on foot from the multi-storey car park a quarter of a mile away.’
    • ‘But also - by wandering through the lesser-known quarters, backstreets and countless minor markets - you will get a sense of the living city too.’
    • ‘We set off through the illuminated streets of nighttime London, round Hyde Park Corner, up Piccadilly and through the backstreets of Mayfair.’
    • ‘He said people were comparing prices at top hotels in Ireland with backstreet bars in Spain and they wanted to achieve lower prices by slashing the minimum wage and raising taxes.’
    • ‘We drove through the dusty backstreets of Dangriga until we pulled up outside a sun-bleached wooden house on stilts.’
    • ‘Just 20 lads are causing mayhem stealing hundreds of cars, tearing round estate roads and then dumping the vehicles on backstreets.’
    • ‘Use of the bollard should be limited to enforcing timed restrictions on city centre roads and to very specific cases where small backstreets are made unsafe by rat-running.’
    • ‘Police in Lisbon have also been supplied with 100 new marked patrol cars and 70 scooters, ideal for speeding through the city's tight backstreets.’
    • ‘It sounded as remarkable in person as it did on the day I had it playing on my discman, walking through the backstreets of Berlin looking for the studio in which it was recorded.’
    • ‘Tree-lined boulevards dotted with pavement cafes and small boutiques characterise this atypical Tokyo quarter, and a maze of alleyways and backstreets happily interrupts the city's otherwise ubiquitous grid pattern.’
    1. 1.1as modifier Acting or done secretly and typically illegally.
      ‘backstreet abortions’
      • ‘People are forced to go to backstreet butchers if they are not being provided with the services they need.’
      • ‘However the use of illegal backstreet operations to remove the tumours is being slammed by the local authorities.’
      • ‘Some twenty backstreet factories also processed large quantities of opium, which was then one of British Columbia's largest industries.’
      • ‘A fighting fund of more than £100,000 has been spent to buy back spare tickets and keep them from the backstreet hustlers, whom many blame for pricing ordinary spectators out of leading sports venues.’
      • ‘The basic game will see you set up your own backstreet clinic, and people will come to you with their ailments, hoping that you will perform a set of miracles.’
      • ‘Risky - and often fatal - backstreet abortions continue to be the only alternative for some.’
      • ‘They were extraordinary, skating without helmets or knee pads, invading empty swimming pools like backstreet bandits, brave and single-minded and uniquely talented.’
      • ‘When people in the North repeatedly turn out to vote for sectarian demagoguery and backstreet thuggery above all available normal democratic alternatives, then they have not delivered a verdict which needs to be respected.’
      • ‘Not that the landed gentry would be caught dead with a Bristol glass full of backstreet gin on their persons.’
      • ‘Lust was the thing that caused men to risk their jobs and families for a tawdry backstreet encounter, it's the thing that costs politicians their careers.’
      • ‘She would scrap it and have us return to the old days of backstreet abortions and unwanted pregnancies for young girls.’
      • ‘If abortion was illegal, many women would be forced to have abortions from unqualified physicians in backstreet clinics, risking their own health.’
      • ‘This has led to an increase in backstreet circumcisions.’
      • ‘Unemployment at 70% is exacerbating poverty, prostitution, backstreet abortion and honour killing.’
      • ‘And some women died from backstreet abortions.’
      • ‘Women in Ireland don't have to resort to backstreet abortions because they can get on a plane and fly to England.’
      • ‘But having said that, it's also implicit in the film that backstreet abortionists cannot be a good thing.’
      • ‘Some of the desperate women who opted for backstreet abortions often had to have their uteruses surgically removed because of resulting massive infection.’
      • ‘You may even need to see that old bogeyman who should be long gone in Shanghai - the backstreet money changer.’