noun the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
- his back was nicely tanned
noun the side that goes last or is not normally seen
- he wrote the date on the back of the photograph
noun the part of something that is furthest from the normal viewer
- he stood at the back of the stage
- it was hidden in the rear of the store
noun (football) a person who plays in the backfield
noun the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
rachis; spinal column; spine; vertebral column; backbone.
noun the protective covering on the front, back, and spine of a book
cover; binding; book binding.
- the book had a leather binding
noun the part of a garment that covers the back of your body
- they pinned a `kick me' sign on his back
noun a support that you can lean against while sitting
- the back of the dental chair was adjustable
noun (American football) the position of a player on a football team who is stationed behind the line of scrimmage
verb be behind; approve of
indorse; plunk for; support; plump for; endorse.
- He plumped for the Labor Party
- I backed Kennedy in 1960
verb travel backward
- back into the driveway
- The car backed up and hit the tree
verb give support or one's approval to
second; indorse; endorse.
- I'll second that motion
- I can't back this plan
- endorse a new project
verb cause to travel backward
- back the car into the parking spot
verb support financial backing for
verb be in back of
- My garage backs their yard
verb place a bet on
stake; bet on; gage; game; punt.
- Which horse are you backing?
- I'm betting on the new horse
verb shift to a counterclockwise direction
verb establish as valid or genuine
- Can you back up your claims?
verb strengthen by providing with a back or backing
adjective related to or located at the back
- the back yard
- the back entrance
adjective satellite located at or near the back of an animal
- back (or hind) legs
- the hinder part of a carcass
adjective satellite of an earlier date
- back issues of the magazine
adverb in or to or toward a former location
- she went back to her parents' house
adverb at or to or toward the back or rear
rearward; rearwards; backward; backwards.
- he moved back
- tripped when he stepped backward
- she looked rearward out the window of the car
adverb in or to or toward an original condition
adverb in or to or toward a past time
- set the clocks back an hour
- never look back
- lovers of the past looking fondly backward
adverb in reply
- he wrote back three days later
adverb in repayment or retaliation
- we paid back everything we had borrowed
- he hit me and I hit him back
- I was kept in after school for talking back to the teacher
: cf. Arm. bak
- 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. See Bac, 1
; akin to Icel., Sw., & LG. bak
, Dan. bag
; cf. OHG. bahho
ham, Skr. bhaj
to turn, OSlav. bg
flight. Cf. Bacon
- In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending from the neck to the end of the spine; in other animals, that part of the body which corresponds most nearly to such part of a human being; as, the back of a horse, fish, or lobster.
- An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge.
[The mountains] their broad bare backs upheave
Into the clouds.
- The outward or upper part of a thing, as opposed to the inner or lower part; as, the back of the hand, the back of the foot, the back of a hand rail.
Methought Love pitying me, when he saw this,
Gave me your hands, the backs and palms to kiss.
- The part opposed to the front; the hinder or rear part of a thing; as, the back of a book; the back of an army; the back of a chimney.
- The part opposite to, or most remote from, that which fronts the speaker or actor; or the part out of sight, or not generally seen; as, the back of an island, of a hill, or of a village.
- The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.
- A support or resource in reserve.
Should have a back or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proof.
- (Naut.) The keel and keelson of a ship.
- (Mining) The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage.
- A garment for the back; hence, clothing.
A bak to walken inne by daylight.
- Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements.
- Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent.
- Moving or operating backward; as, back action.
Back intransitive verb
imperfect & past participle Backed ; present participle & verbal noun Backing
- To get upon the back of; to mount.
I will back him [a horse] straight.
- To place or seat upon the back. R.
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed,
Appeared to me.
- To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.
- To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back books.
- To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
A garden . . . with a vineyard backed.
The chalk cliffs which back the beach.
- To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.
- To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or influence; as, to back a friend. "Parliament would be backed by the people."
Have still found it necessary to back and fortify their laws with rewards and punishments.
The mate backed the captain manfully.
- To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.
Back intransitive verb
- To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.
- (Naut.) To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.
- (Sporting) To stand still behind another dog which has poined; -- said of a dog. Eng.
Cleon at first . . . was willing to go; but, finding that he [Nicias] was in earnest, he tried to back out.
Jowett (Thucyd. )
Shortened from aback
- In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back.
- To the place from which one came; to the place or person from which something is taken or derived; as, to go back for something left behind; to go back to one's native place; to put a book back after reading it.
- To a former state, condition, or station; as, to go back to private life; to go back to barbarism.
- ( Of time) In times past; ago. "Sixty or seventy years back."
- Away from contact; by reverse movement.
The angel of the Lord . . . came, and rolled back the stone from the door.
Matt. xxvii. 2.
- In concealment or reserve; in one's own possession; as, to keep back the truth; to keep back part of the money due to another.
- In a state of restraint or hindrance.
The Lord hath kept thee back from honor.
Numb. xxiv. 11.
- In return, repayment, or requital.
What have I to give you back!
- In withdrawal from a statement, promise, or undertaking; as, he took back0 the offensive words.
- In arrear; as, to be back in one's rent. Colloq.
Sharpen your Skills with the Masters
"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."
-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.
Fear not the Adverb Hell!