date back

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date back

To have originated at an earlier time. This phrase is often followed by "to" and then the corresponding time frame or historical figure. I know she thinks that this vase is some great antique, but I doubt it dates back more than 30 years. This vase dates back to the Victorian period. This vase dates back to Queen Victoria.
See also: back, date

date back (to someone or some time)

to have origins that extend back to the time of someone or something. This part of the palace dates back to Catherine the Great. This is old! It really must date back.
See also: back, date
References in periodicals archive ?
We tend to think of penguins as being cold-adapted species, even the small penguins in equatorial regions today," says Clarke, "but the new fossils date back to one of the warmest periods in the last 65 million years of Earth's history.
Dr Julia Clarke, from North Carolina State University, who led the research team, said: "Even the small penguins in Peru today are thought of as cold-adapted species, but the fossils date back to one of the warmest periods in the last 65million years of Earth's history.
His big idea, which was first received as a kind of intellectual heresy, was that surnames date back to one ancestor in a specific area.