The backs of two cute kitties.
The back of a woman.
- The definition of back is in the rear.
An example of back used as an adjective is a back yard which means a yard situated behind the house.
- Back means the rear of something.
An example of a back is the tail of an animal.
- Back is defined as to support or to move in a backward motion.
- An example of to back is to financially support a political candidate.
- An example of to back is to back up which is to drive a car backwards into the driveway.
- the part of the body opposite to the front; in humans and many other animals, the part to the rear or top reaching from the nape of the neck to the end of the spine
- the backbone or spine
- the part of a chair that supports one's back
- the part of a garment or harness that fits on the back of a person or animal
- physical strength: put some back into the work
- the rear or hind part of anything; part behind or opposite the front: the back of the room, the back of his leg
- the part or side of anything that is less often used, seen, etc.: the back of the hand; the back of a carpet, textile, etc.; the back of a knife
- the part of a book where the sections are sewed or glued together; part covered by the spine
- the spine of a book
- Mining the roof or overhead part of an underground passage
- Sports a player positioned behind many of his or her teammates, as a running back in football or a halfback in soccer
Origin of backMiddle English bak from Old English baec; akin to Old Norse bak, Old High German bahho
- at the rear or back; behind
- distant or remote: back country
- of or for a time in the past: a back copy of a newspaper, back pay
- in a backward direction; returning; reversed: a back step
- Phonet. articulated with the tongue in a position toward the back of the mouth: said of certain vowels, as (?) in cool
- at, to, or toward the rear; backward
- to or toward a former position or location
- into or toward a previous condition
- to or toward an earlier time: set your clocks back one hour
- to or toward a later time: the snowstorm pushed the meeting back two days
- so as to keep in reserve or concealment: to hold back information
- in return or requital: to pay someone back
- in opposition or resistance: consumers fighting back against unfair lending practices
Origin of backME bac < abac < OE on bæc, backward
- to cause to move backward, or to the rear: often with up
- to be at the back of; stand behind
- to support or help, as with money, endorsement, etc.
- to make a wager in support of; bet on
- to get on the back of; mount
- to provide with a back or backing
- to form the back of
- to sign on the back; endorse
- to provide security for (a currency, loan, etc.)
- to move or go backward: to back into a room
- to move (into a desired position) through the faulty performance of an opponent: to back into a championship
- to have the back in a certain place or direction: the house backs on a lake
- Meteorol. to shift counterclockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere): said of the changing direction of a wind
back and fill
- to handle sails so that they alternately spill wind and fill with wind, as in maneuvering in a narrow channel
- to zigzag
- to vacillate, as in a decision
back and forth
- to and fro
- from side to side
- to move or go backward
- to withdraw from a position, stop holding to an attitude, etc.
(in) back of
- to move back a short distance
- Informal back down
- Informal to refrain or cease from pursuing or annoying; lay off
- Informal to stop supporting a position, holding to an attitude, etc.
- to withdraw from an enterprise
- to refuse to keep a promise
back out of
- to withdraw from (an enterprise)
- to refuse to keep (a promise)
- to support or help
- to move or go backward
- to accumulate as the result of a stoppage: traffic backed up for a mile
- Baseball to take a position behind (a teammate) in case there should be a mishandled or erratically thrown ball
- Comput. to make a standby or alternate copy of (data, a file, etc.)
- to use oars, a propeller, etc. to move backward or prevent drifting
- to withdraw from a position or a claim
behind someone's back
be (flat) on one's back
get off someone's back
get one's back up
go back onInformal
- to be faithless or disloyal to; betray
- to fail to keep (a promise, one's word, etc.)
have someone's back
put someone's back up
turn one's back on
- to show anger, contempt, etc. toward by turning away from
- to ignore the plight of; desert; fail
watch one's back
with one's back to the wall
Origin of backDutch bak from Late Latin bacca, water bowl
Origin of Backafter George Back (1796-1878), Arctic navigator
- a. The part of the trunk of the human body along and to the sides of the spine between the neck and the pelvis; the dorsum.b. The analogous dorsal region in other animals.
- The backbone or spine.
- The part or area farthest from the front.
- The part opposite to or behind that adapted for view or use: the back of the hand; wrote on the back of the photograph.
- The reverse side, as of a coin.
- A part that supports or strengthens from the rear: the back of a couch.
- a. The part of a book where the pages are stitched or glued together into the binding.b. The binding itself.
- Sports a. A player who takes a position behind the front line of other players in certain games, such as football and soccer.b. In swimming, backstroke.
verbbacked, back·ing, backs
- To cause to move backward or in a reverse direction: Back the car up and then make the turn.
- To furnish or strengthen with a back or backing.
- a. To provide with financial or material support: Unions backed the pro-labor candidate.b. To lend moral support to, as by corroborating a claim. Often used with up : I'm not comfortable filing a complaint if you won't back me up.c. To be in favor of; endorse or advocate: backed the reform proposal. See Synonyms at support.
- To provide with musical accompaniment. Often used with up.
- To bet or wager on.
- To adduce evidence in support of; substantiate: backed the argument with facts.
- To form the back or background of: Snowcapped mountains back the village.
- To move backward: backed out of the garage.
- To shift to a counterclockwise direction. Used of the wind.
- Located or placed in the rear: Deliveries should be made at the back entrance.
- Distant from a center of activity; remote.
- Of a past date; not current: a back issue of a periodical.
- Being owed or due from an earlier time; in arrears: back pay.
- Being in a backward direction: a back step.
- Linguistics Pronounced with the back of the tongue, as oo in cool. Used of vowels.
- At, to, or toward the rear or back.
- In, to, or toward a former location: went back for the class reunion.
- In, to, or toward a former condition: When the spell broke, the prince turned back into a frog.
- In, to, or toward a past time: This story goes back to the 1920s.
- In reserve or concealment: We kept back some money for emergencies.
- In check or under restraint: Barriers held the crowd back.
- In reply or return: emailed back that he would be late.
Origin of backMiddle English bak from Old English bæc
Origin of backDutch bak from French bac from Old French boat from Vulgar Latin baccus vessel probably of Celtic origin
(comparative more back, superlative most back)
(comparative further back, superlative furthest back)
- (not comparable) To or in a previous condition or place.
- He gave back the money. He needs his money back. He was on vacation, but now he’s back. The office fell into chaos when you left, but now order is back.
- Away from the front or from an edge.
- Sit all the way back in your chair.
- Step back from the curb.
- In a manner that impedes.
- Fear held him back.
- In a reciprocal manner.
- If you hurt me, I'll hurt you back.
- The rear of the body, especially the part between the neck and the end of the spine and opposite the chest and belly.
- Could you please scratch my back?
- The spine and associated tissues.
- I hurt my back lifting those crates.
- The side of any object which is opposite the front or useful side.
- Turn the book over and look at the back.
- The reverse side; the side that is not normally seen.
- I hung the clothes on the back of the door.
- That which is farthest away from the front.
- He sat in the back of the room.
- Area behind, such as the backyard of a house
- We'll meet out in the back of the library.
- The part of something that goes last.
- The car was near the back of the train.
- The side of a blade opposite the side used for cutting.
- Tap it with the back of your knife.
- The part of a piece of clothing which covers the back.
- I still need to finish the back of your dress.
- The edge of a book which is bound.
- The titles are printed on the backs of the books.
- The backrest, the part of a piece of furniture which receives the human back.
- Can you fix the back of this chair?
- (figuratively) Upper part of a natural object which is considered to resemble an animal's back.
- The small boat raced over the backs of the waves.
- (sports) In some team sports, a position behind most players on the team.
- The backs were lined up in an I formation.
- A support or resource in reserve.
- (nautical) The keel and keelson of a ship.
- The ship's back broke in the pounding surf.
- (printing) The inside margin of a page.
- (mining) The roof of a horizontal underground passage.
- (slang, uncountable) Effort, usually physical.
- Put some back into it!
- (slang, uncountable) Large and attractive buttocks.
- A non-alcoholic drink (often water or a soft drink), to go with hard liquor or a cocktail.
- Among leather dealers, one of the thickest and stoutest tanned hides.
(third-person singular simple present backs, present participle backing, simple past and past participle backed)
- (intransitive) To go in the reverse direction.
- the train backed into the station; the horse refuses to back
- To support.
- I back you all the way; which horse are you backing in this race?
- (nautical, of the wind) to change direction contrary to its normal pattern (anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in the southern)
- (nautical, of a square sail) to brace the yards so that the wind presses on the front of the sail, to slow the ship
- (nautical, of an anch) to lay out a second, smaller anchor to provide additional holding power
- (UK, of a hunting dog) To stand still behind another dog which has pointed.
- To push or force backwards.
- to back oxen
- The mugger backed her into a corner and demanded her wallet.
- To make a back for; to furnish with a back.
- to back books
- To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
- To write upon the back of, possibly as an endorsement.
- to back a letter; to back a note or legal document
Middle English bak, from Old English bæc, from Proto-Germanic *baką (cf. Old Saxon bak (Middle Low German bak (“back”)), West Frisian bekling 'chair back', Old High German bah, Swedish bak), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *bʰogo 'bending'. The adverb represents an aphetic form of aback.
- A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot glue, etc.
- A ferryboat.