Background - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |ˈbækɡraʊnd|  American pronunciation of the word background
Brit.  |ˈbakɡraʊnd|  British pronunciation of the word background
- a person's social heritage: previous experience or training
- the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground (syn: ground)
- information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem
- extraneous signals that can be confused with the phenomenon to be observed or measured
- relatively unimportant or inconspicuous accompanying situation
- the state of the environment in which a situation exists (syn: scope, setting)
- (computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear (syn: desktop)
- scenery hung at back of stage (syn: backcloth, backdrop)


- understate the importance or quality of (syn: downplay)


Objects in the foreground are drawn larger than those in the background.

a photograph of a house with mountains in the background

red letters printed on a white background

An ethnic conflict that was simmering away in the background finally erupted into civil war.

Let me provide you with some background on this problem.

The music served as a background to the recitation of poetry.

Steve has a background in computer engineering.

Students with a background in chemistry will probably find the course easier.

It's important to understand other people, people from different backgrounds.

Cultural background might account for some of the variations noted in the studies.

They told me everything there was to know about the child's family background.

Without knowing the background to the case, I couldn't possibly comment.

The peace talks are being held against a background of increasing violence.

The author included a new chapter of background material for the second edition of the book.

The background looks out of focus.

Word forms

singular: background
plural: backgrounds
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman