Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


 (môs′băk′, mŏs′-)
1. Informal An extremely conservative or old-fashioned person.
a. An old sluggish fish.
b. An old turtle with a growth of algae on its back.

moss′backed′ adj.


1. (Zoology) an old turtle, shellfish, etc, that has a growth of algae on its back
2. informal a provincial or conservative person
ˈmossˌbacked adj


(ˈmɔsˌbæk, ˈmɒs-)

1. Informal. a person holding very antiquated notions; reactionary.
2. an old turtle.
3. a large and old fish, as a bass.
[1870–75, Amer.]
moss′backed`, adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mossback - an extremely old-fashioned conservative
conservative, conservativist - a person who is reluctant to accept changes and new ideas


1. A person who vehemently, often fanatically opposes progress and favors return to a previous condition:
2. An old-fashioned person who is reluctant to change or innovate:
Informal: stick-in-the-mud.
Slang: square.
References in periodicals archive ?
Elliott is responsible for the first two horses in the betting in Jury Duty and Mossback.
Mossback, Jury Duty, No Comment and Rathvinden are all on a list of 16 runners in the National Hunt Chase.
We have an old mossback Jacksonian who snorts and howls because there is a bathtub in the state house; we are running that old jay for Governor," he wrote.
A supervisor hired from outside the company would not let Mossback get away with his passive/aggressive, analretentive style.
The board had proposed separate but equal membership for women as a compromise between old-grad Bonesmen-who object to women out of mossback sexism or, more politely, on the theory that their presence would inhibit the lengthy life-history confessions members make--and the younger members, who say exclusion of women is wrong and an anachronism.
NEWSBOY 1-2-3 1 MOSSBACK 2 KEEPER HILL 3 MS PARFOIS MOSSBACK, whose connections won the amateurs' four-miler last year, can thrive in this test.
Jury Duty (rated 148) and Mossback (146) were upsides at the last in the Grade 3 Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase at Naas last month only for Mossback to take a crashing fall and the other to begin wobbling.