I've been reading a lot of various classic literature, and at times there is the sort of casual misogyny or racism that was commonplace and (within certain cultures) the social norm at that time. Such things are no longer so commonplace and generally aren't tolerated.

I wish to have a concise adjective or noun to describe those things when discussing them that isn't so oblique and timid as "outmoded" or "archaic", but I cannot recall one nor find it with my (perhaps feeble) attempts to search for it online.

Has anyone come across such a word?

If not, I'm open to a suggested synthesized word or a potential loanword that might one day make it into a dictionary if we use it enough.

  • Overton’s Jetsam
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 30, 2023 at 5:50
  • "Outmoded" is neither timid nor oblique.
    – Phil Sweet
    Nov 30, 2023 at 21:24
  • Thanks for the comment, @PhilSweet. Purely from my own opinion, I had worries that there was a connotation with "outmoded" that misogyny or racism was once "useful" but no longer is. This is why I considered it to be timid. As though I was trying to be unnecessarily subtle or polite about such cruelties.
    – oliverseal
    Nov 30, 2023 at 23:03

4 Answers 4


The phrase "relegated (or consigned) to the dust heap of history" is more literary, if that's where you are heading. It has been deployed by Trotsky, Reagan, and Andropov with minor variations (trash heap, dust bin, ash heap, garbage heap, etc.) These dust bins go back to at least Petrarch in the 14th c., becoming more metaphorical over time.


  • What a wonderful find here! While not quite as concise as I would love, I very much like the precedence, connotation, and imagery this phrasing affords.
    – oliverseal
    Dec 1, 2023 at 3:41

Merriam-Webster's Thesaurus suggests dated:

Dated having passed its time of use or usefulness

Or you could use synonyms with a bit more nuance such as Neolithic (really, really dated), suggesting that we have come a long way since then.

  • Hi, Anita. Thanks for following up on the automated request for more support for your answer by adding the link the the MW Thesaurus. EL&U prefers to have the source of quioted language made explicit in words (not merely in the form of a hyperlinked URL) in case the link later breaks. Welcome to the site!
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 30, 2023 at 7:09

I'd use discredited.

Cherry-picking among the meanings and examples:

discredit: to cause people to stop respecting / believing in an idea



  • Slavery was wrong ... The conservatives might have hoped that Keith's embracing of anti-slavery would have discredited the sentiments in favour of abolition. [William Frost; Quakers and Slavery]
  • The term discredited implies that there were some definite reasons for rejecting the norm. It is not entirely clear whether the OP is looking for a term that is restricted to such cases, or a broader term that includes the cases in which the norm just fizzles out.
    – jsw29
    Nov 30, 2023 at 17:33
  • '[G]enerally aren't tolerated' / 'I wish to have a concise adjective or noun to describe those things when discussing them that isn't so oblique and timid' seem clear to me. Nov 30, 2023 at 23:12


no longer fashionable; out of date.
"miniskirts are passé—the best skirts are knee-length" [Oxford Languages]

  • 1
    Passé is sometimes used in this way, but because it primarily refers to fashion and similar trivia, it's a bit euphemistic if you actually mean unacceptable/racist/offensive. Skinny jeans are passé; defending slavery is something a bit more.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 1, 2023 at 12:47

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