out of date / outdated (=no longer valid??)

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, when I saw the following example sentence in a book about British English (written by a British author and translated into Japanese), I was quite surprised.

This coupon is out of date.

I thought you would only use "out of date" for things that are old-fashioned, not also for things that are no longer valid. I immediately looked up the phrase in some of the dictionaries I use and ODE actually says both "old-fashioned" and "no longer valid or relevant". Since the coupon above is no longer valid, "out of date" seems correct. How about foods and drinks that have expired? Also, does "outdated" also have this meaning? (None of the dictionaries I have checked says YES.)
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    How about foods and drinks that have expired? Also, does "outdated" also have this meaning?
    Outdated is occasionally used in this way but it is not the best adjective for the purpose - As you have discovered, "outdated" means "(i) replaced by a newer version or (ii) no longer used because of age or inefficiency (iii) no longer fashionable."

    On consumables (i.e. not only food and drink) "Out of date" translates as "outside of the date upon/by which consumption is recommended."
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Maybe there's an AmE/BrE difference about "out of date" and I only learned the AmE meaning (most schools here in Japan teach AmE)? The WR Random House AmE dictionaries only show "outmoded, "obsolete", etc. for out of date.
     

    Language Hound

    Senior Member
    American English
    I know that the OP's context is BE, but I'd just like to add that "This coupon is out of date" does not sound right in AE.

    To express this idea in AE, I would say:
    This coupon has expired.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Information and reference books can be out of date; it may be a gradual process of becoming less and less useful, the way a car or a jacket can become less and less fashionable or normal as it becomes outdated. 'Out of date' doesn't have to mean sharply "expired" or "invalid".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much. So, "out of date" has a wider meaning in BE, as expected.

    In a supermarket somewhere in the US...

    Shopper from UK: Excuse me, could you come here and take a look, please? You shouldn't sell these (pointing to some yogurts). They are out of date.
    Employee: I don't think so, ma'am. They are a new brand launched just several months ago.
     
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