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 hinder 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 toward the back of the mouth: said of certain vowels, as (o̵̅o̅) 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
- so as to keep in reserve or concealment: to hold back information
- in return or requital: to pay someone back
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 back a short distance
- Informal back down
- Informal to refrain or cease from pursuing or annoying; lay off
- 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 backwardalso back away
- 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 on☆ Informal
- to be faithless or disloyal to; betray
- to fail to keep (a promise, one's word, etc.)
(in) back of☆
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
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 moral support: Unions backed the pro-labor candidate.b. 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: e-mailed 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.