Back - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |bæk|  American pronunciation of the word back
Brit.  |bæk|  British pronunciation of the word back


- the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
his back was nicely tanned
- the side that goes last or is not normally seen (syn: rear)
he wrote the date on the back of the photograph
- the part of something that is furthest from the normal viewer (syn: rear)
he stood at the back of the stage
- (football) a person who plays in the backfield
- the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord (syn: backbone, spine)
the fall broke his back
- the protective covering on the front, back, and spine of a book (syn: binding, cover)
- the part of a garment that covers the back of your body
they pinned a 'kick me' sign on his back
- a support that you can lean against while sitting (syn: backrest)
the back of the dental chair was adjustable
- (American football) the position of a player on a football team who is stationed behind the line of scrimmage


- be behind; approve of (syn: endorse, indorse, support)
I backed Kennedy in 1960
- travel backward
back into the driveway
The car backed up and hit the tree
- give support or one's approval to (syn: endorse, indorse, second)
I can't back this plan
- cause to travel backward
back the car into the parking spot
- support financial backing for
back this enterprise
- be in back of
My garage backs their yard
- place a bet on (syn: gage, game, punt, stake)
Which horse are you backing?
- shift to a counterclockwise direction
the wind backed
- establish as valid or genuine (syn: back up)
Can you back up your claims?
- strengthen by providing with a back or backing


- located at or near the back of an animal (syn: hind, hinder)
back (or hind) legs
- of an earlier date
back issues of the magazine


- in or to or toward a former location
she went back to her parents' house
- at or to or toward the back or rear (syn: backward, backwards, rearward, rearwards)
he moved back
tripped when he stepped backward
- in or to or toward an original condition
he went back to sleep
- in or to or toward a past time (syn: backward)
set the clocks back an hour
never look back
lovers of the past looking fondly backward
- in reply
he wrote back three days later
- 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

Extra examples

She was carrying her little daughter on her back.

She has a pain in the small of her back.

I slapped him on his back to congratulate him.

She stabbed him in the back.

He was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

A bird with a spotted back

Riding on the back of a horse

A comfortable chair with a padded back

The soldiers moved back from the front lines.

The police asked the crowd to move back from the scene of the accident.

He left his friends two miles back.

She turned around and looked back toward him.

A chapter beginning several pages back

He left his home and never went back.

It's time to go back home.

Phrasal verbs

back down  — move backwards from a certain position
back off  — move backwards from a certain position
back out  — move out of a space backwards
back up  — give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to

Word forms

I/you/we/they: back
he/she/it: backs
present participle: backing
past tense: backed
past participle: backed
singular: back
plural: backs
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