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(1)   In or to or toward a past time
"Set the clocks back an hour"
"Never look back"
"Lovers of the past looking fondly backward"
(2)   At or to or toward the back or rear
"He moved back"
"Tripped when he stepped backward"
"She looked rearward out the window of the car"
(3)   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"
(4)   In or to or toward a former location
"She went back to her parents' house"
(5)   In or to or toward an original condition
"He went back to sleep"
(6)   In answer
"He wrote back three days later"
"Had little to say in reply to the questions"


(7)   The position of a player on a football team who is stationed behind the line of scrimmage
(8)   A support that you can lean against while sitting
"The back of the dental chair was adjustable"
(9)   The part of a garment that covers the back of your body
"They pinned a `kick me' sign on his back"
(10)   The protective covering on the front, back, and spine of a book
"The book had a leather binding"
(11)   The side that goes last or is not normally seen
"He wrote the date on the back of the photograph"
(12)   The posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
"His back was nicely tanned"
(13)   The series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
"The fall broke his back"
(14)   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"
(15)   (football) a person who plays in the backfield


(16)   Strengthen by providing with a back or backing
(17)   Establish as valid or genuine
"Can you back up your claims?"
(18)   Shift to a counterclockwise direction
"The wind backed"
(19)   Place a bet on
"Which horse are you backing?"
"I'm betting on the new horse"
(20)   Travel backward
"Back into the driveway"
"The car backed up and hit the tree"
(21)   Cause to travel backward
"Back the car into the parking spot"
(22)   Support financial backing for
"Back this enterprise"
(23)   Be behind; approve of
"He plumped for the Labor Party"
"I backed Kennedy in 1960"
(24)   Give support or one's approval to
"I'll second that motion"
"I can't back this plan"
"Endorse a new project"
(25)   Be in back of
"My garage backs their yard"


, from . The adverb represents an aphetic form of .


  1. The rear of 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?
  2. The spine and associated tissues.
    I hurt my back lifting that dictionary.
  3. The side of any object which is opposite the front or useful side.
    Turn the book over and look at the back.
  4. The reverse side; the side that is not normally seen.
    I hung the clothes on the back of the door.
  5. That which is farthest away from the front.
    He sat in the back of the room.
  6. Area behind, such as the backyard of a house
    We'll meet out in the back of the library.
  7. The part of something that goes last.
    The car was near the back of the train.
  8. The side of a blade opposite the side used for cutting.
    Tap it with the back of your knife.
  9. The part of a piece of clothing which covers the back.
    I still need to finish the back of your dress.
  10. The edge of a book which is bound.
    The titles are printed on the backs of the books.
  11. The backrest, the part of a piece of furniture which receives the human back.
    Can you fix the back of this chair?
  12. 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.
  13. That part of the body that bears clothing.
      1. In some team sports, a position behind most players on the team.
        The backs were lined up in an I formation.
      2. The keel and keelson of a ship.
        The ship's back broke in the pounding surf.
      3. The inside margin of a page.
          1. The roof of a horizontal underground passage.
              1. Effort, usually physical.
                Put some back into it!
              2. Large and attractive buttocks.

                • Adjective

                  1. Near the rear.
                    Go in the back door of the house.
                  2. Not current.
                    I’d like to find a back issue of that magazine.
                  3. Far from the main area.
                    They took a back road.
                    That chore has been in the back of my mind for weeks.
                  4. Produced in the back of the mouth.
                    "U" in "rude" is a back vowel.


                  1. To go in the reverse direction.
                    The train backed into the station.
                  2. To support.
                    I back you all the way.
                  3. the change direction contrary to its normal pattern (anticlockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in the southern)
                  4. to brace the yards so that the wind presses on the front of the sail, to slow the ship
                  5. to lay out a second, smaller anchor to provide additional holding power


                  1. (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.
                  2. Away from the front or from an edge.
                    Sit all the way back in your chair.
                    Step back from the curb.
                  3. In a manner that impedes.
                    Fear held him back.