back

I [[t]bæ̱k[/t]] ADVERB USES
(In addition to the uses shown below, back is also used in phrasal verbs such as `date back' and `fall back on'.)
1) ADV: ADV after v, oft ADV prep If you move back, you move in the opposite direction to the one in which you are facing or in which you were moving before.

The photographers drew back to let Thorne and Abbot view the body...

She stepped back from the door expectantly...

He pushed her away and she fell back on the wooden bench...

She pushes back her chair and stands.

Syn:
Ant:
2) ADV: ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV prep/adv If you go back somewhere, you return to where you were before.

I went back to bed...

I'm due back in London by late afternoon...

Smith changed his mind and moved back home...

I'll be back as soon as I can...

He made a round-trip to the terminal and back.

3) ADV: ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV prep If someone or something is back in a particular state, they were in that state before and are now in it again.

The rail company said it expected services to get slowly back to normal...

Denise hopes to be back at work by the time her daughter is one...

Having recently bought an old typewriter, I am now trying to bring it back into working order.

4) ADV: ADV after v, oft ADV prep If you give or put something back, you return it to the person who had it or to the place where it was before you took it. If you get or take something back, you then have it again after not having it for a while.

She handed the knife back...

Put it back in the freezer...

You'll get your money back.

5) ADV: ADV after v If you put a clock or watch back, you change the time shown on it so that it shows an earlier time, for example when the time changes to winter time or standard time.
6) ADV: ADV after v, oft ADV prep If you write or call back, you write to or telephone someone after they have written to or telephoned you. If you look back at someone, you look at them after they have started looking at you.

They wrote back to me and they told me that I didn't have to do it...

If the phone rings say you'll call back after dinner...

Lee looked at Theodora. She stared back.

7) ADV: ADV after v, ADV to n You can say that you go or come back to a particular point in a conversation to show that you are mentioning or discussing it again.

Can I come back to the question of policing once again?...

To come back to what I said in the Introduction, in the nineteenth century Spain was fully a part of Europe...

Going back to the school, how many staff are there?

8) ADV: ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV prep If something is or comes back, it is fashionable again after it has been unfashionable for some time.

Black is back...

Consensus politics could easily come back into fashion.

9) ADV: ADV after v, be ADV, oft ADV from n If someone or something is kept or situated back from a place, they are at a distance away from it.

Keep back from the edge of the platform...

I'm a few miles back from the border...

He started for Dot's bedroom and Myrtle held him back.

10) ADV: ADV after v If something is held or tied back, it is held or tied so that it does not hang loosely over something.

Her hair was tied back...

The curtains were held back by tassels.

11) ADV: ADV after v If you lie or sit back, you move your body backwards into a relaxed sloping or flat position, with your head and body resting on something.

She lay back and stared at the ceiling...

She leaned back in her chair and smiled.

Ant:
12) ADV: ADV after v, oft ADV prep If you look or shout back at someone or something, you turn to look or shout at them when they are behind you.

Nick looked back over his shoulder and then stopped, frowning...

He called back to her.

13) ADV: ADV with v, ADV prep You use back in expressions like back in London or back at the house when you are giving an account, to show that you are going to start talking about what happened or was happening in the place you mention.

Meanwhile, back in London, Palace Pictures was collapsing...

Later, back at home, the telephone rang.

14) ADV: ADV with v, ADV prep, n ADV (emphasis) If you talk about something that happened back in the past or several years back, you are emphasizing that it happened quite a long time ago.

The story starts back in 1950, when I was five...

I was in St. Lucia back in January of this year...

Mr Davis was wounded in that terrorist attack a few years back.

15) ADV: ADV after v, ADV to n If you think back to something that happened in the past, you remember it or try to remember it.

I thought back to the time in 1975 when my son was desperately ill...

My mind flew back to stories I had heard about Vinnie.

16) PHRASE: PHR after v If someone moves back and forth, they repeatedly move in one direction and then in the opposite direction.

He paced back and forth...

Two boys were in the street, tossing a baseball back and forth.

17) to cast your mind backsee mind
II [[t]bæ̱k[/t]] OPPOSITE OF FRONT; NOUN AND ADJECTIVE USES
backs
(Please look at category 19 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)
1) N-COUNT: oft poss N A person's or animal's back is the part of their body between their head and their legs that is on the opposite side to their chest and stomach.

Her son was lying peacefully on his back...

She turned her back to the audience...

Three of the victims were shot in the back...

He threw the old cloth saddle across the donkey's back.

Ant:
2) N-COUNT: usu sing, oft the N of n The back of something is the side or part of it that is towards the rear or farthest from the front. The back of something is normally not used or seen as much as the front.

...a room at the back of the shop...

She raised her hands to the back of her neck...

Smooth the mixture with the back of a soup spoon...

Her room was on the third floor, at the back.

Ant:
3) ADJ: ADJ n Back is used to refer to the side or part of something that is towards the rear or farthest from the front.

He opened the back door...

Ann could remember sitting in the back seat of their car.

...the back room of a pub in Camden.

...the path leading to the back garden.

Ant:
4) N-COUNT: usu sing, with supp The back of a chair or sofa is the part that you lean against when you sit on it.

There was a neatly folded pink sweater on the back of the chair.

5) N-COUNT: the N, usu sing The back of something such as a piece of paper or an envelope is the side which is less important.

Send your answers on the back of a postcard or sealed, empty envelope.

Ant:
6) N-COUNT: the N, usu sing The back of a book is the part nearest the end, where you can find the index or the notes, for example.

The index at the back of the book lists both brand and generic names...

You've given a whole list of names and addresses at the back.

Ant:
7) N-SING: prep the N You can use back in expressions such as round the back and out the back to refer generally to the area behind a house or other building. [BRIT, SPOKEN]

He had chickens and things round the back...

The privy's out the back.

8) N-UNCOUNT: prep N, oft N of n You use back in expressions such as out back to refer to the area behind a house or other building. You also use in back to refer to the rear part of something, especially a car or building. [AM]

Dan informed her that he would be out back on the patio cleaning his shoes...

Catlett got behind the wheel and I sat in back...

She hurried to the kitchen in back of the store.

9) N-COUNT In team games such as soccer and hockey, a back is a player who is concerned mainly with preventing the other team from scoring goals, rather than scoring goals for their own team.
Syn:
Ant:
10) N-COUNT In American football, a back is a player who stands behind the front line, runs with the ball and attacks rather than defends.
11) PHRASE: PHR after v (disapproval) If you say that something was done behind someone's back, you disapprove of it because it was done without them knowing about it, in an unfair or dishonest way.

You eat her food, enjoy her hospitality and then criticize her behind her back.

12) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you break the back of a task or problem, you do the most difficult part of what is necessary to complete the task or solve the problem.

It seems at least that we've broken the back of inflation in this country...

We can deliver supplies and work to break the back of the famine.

13) PHRASE: PHR after v If you are wearing something back to front, you are wearing it with the back of it at the front of your body. If you do something back to front, you do it the wrong way around, starting with the part that should come last. [mainly BRIT]

He wears his baseball cap back to front...

The picture was printed back to front.

Syn:
(in AM, use backward)
14) PHRASE: V inflects If you tell someone to get off your back, you are telling them angrily to stop criticizing you or putting pressure on you. [INFORMAL]

He kept on at me to such an extent that occasionally I wished he would get off my back.

15) PHRASE If you say that one thing happens on the back of another thing, you mean that it happens after that other thing and in addition to it.

The cuts, if approved, come on the back of a difficult eight years that have seen three London fire stations closed.

16) PHRASE If someone is on the back foot, or if something puts them on the back foot, they feel threatened and act defensively.

From now on Labour will be on the back foot on the subject of welfare.

...another scheme designed purely to put the Scots Nationalists on the back foot.

17) PHRASE People say `You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours' to mean that one person helps another on condition that the second person helps them in return. [INFORMAL]
18) PHRASE: PHR n If you say that you will be glad to see the back of someone, you mean that you want them to leave. [BRIT, INFORMAL]

I was so badly behaved I was convinced she would be glad to see the back of me.

19) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you turn your back on someone or something, you ignore them, leave them, or reject them.

Stacey Lattisaw has turned her back on her singing career with Motown Records to become a gospel singer...

Gunnell is not the sort to turn her back on someone who has coached her for 12 years.

Syn:
20) PHRASE: V inflects If someone or something puts your back up or gets your back up, they annoy you. [INFORMAL]

Some food labelling practices really get my back up.

Syn:
21) off the back of a lorrysee lorry
to take a back seatsee seat
to have your back to the wallsee wall
III [[t]bæ̱k[/t]] VERB USES
backs, backing, backed
1) VERB If a building backs onto something, the back of it faces in the direction of that thing or touches the edge of that thing.

[V onto n] We live in a ground floor flat which backs onto a busy street...

[V onto n] His garden backs onto a school.

2) V-ERG When you back a car or other vehicle somewhere or when it backs somewhere, it moves backwards.

[V n prep/adv] He backed his car out of the drive...

[V prep/adv] The train backed out of Adelaide Yard on to the Dublin-Belfast line...

I heard the engines revving as the lorries backed and turned. [Also V n]

Syn:
3) VERB If you back a person or a course of action, you support them, for example by voting for them or giving them money.

[V n] His defence says it has found a new witness to back his claim that he is a victim of mistaken identity.

[V n] ...if France cannot persuade all five permanent members of the Security Council to back the plan...

[V n] The Prime Minister is backed by the civic movement, Public Against Violence.

Syn:
Derived words:
-backed COMB in ADJ

...government-backed loans to Egypt.

4) VERB If you back a particular person, team, or horse in a competition, you predict that they will win, and usually you bet money that they will win.

[V n to-inf] Roland Nilsson last night backed Sheffield Wednesday to win the UEFA Cup...

[V n to-inf] The horse's owner Mr Hitchins backed him at 200-1 to finish in the first three...

[V n] It is upsetting to discover that you have backed a loser.

5) VERB: usu passive If a singer is backed by a band or by other singers, they provide the musical background for the singer.

[be V-ed by n] She chose to be backed by a classy trio of acoustic guitar, bass and congas.

Syn:
6) See also backing
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • back — back …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • back — back1 [bak] n. [ME bak < OE baec; akin to ON bak, OHG bahho] 1. 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 2. the… …   English World dictionary

  • back — ► NOUN 1) the rear surface of the human body from the shoulders to the hips. 2) the corresponding upper surface of an animal s body. 3) the side or part of something away from the viewer. 4) the side or part of an object that is not normally seen …   English terms dictionary

  • Back — (b[a^]k), n. [AS. b[ae]c, bac; akin to Icel., Sw., & LG. bak, Dan. bag; cf. OHG. bahho ham, Skr. bhaj to turn, OSlav. b[=e]g[u^] flight. Cf. {Bacon}.] 1. In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending from the neck to the end of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — (b[a^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Backed} (b[a^]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Backing}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To get upon the back of; to mount. [1913 Webster] I will back him [a horse] straight. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To place or seat upon the back. [R.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — eines kleineren Schiffes Back eines Massengutfrachters Back ist ein s …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Back — Back, a. 1. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements. [1913 Webster] 2. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent. [1913 Webster] 3. Moving or operating backward; as, back action. [1913 Webster] {Back… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — Back, adv. [Shortened from aback.] 1. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back. [1913 Webster] 2. 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • back — [bæk] verb [transitive] 1. to support someone or something, especially by giving money or using your influence: • The board backed Mr Standley, who plans to cut costs. • Shareholders have backed a plan to build a second plant. 2. FINANCE if …   Financial and business terms

  • Back on My B. S. — Back on My B.S. Studioalbum von Busta Rhymes Veröffentlichung 2009 Label Flipmode Records / Universal Motown Form …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Back-up — auch: Back|up 〈[bæ̣kʌp] n. 15 oder m. 6; EDV〉 Sicherungskopie von Computerdateien auf einem zweiten Speichermedium (neben der Festplatte) od. in komprimierter Form [<engl. backup „Rückendeckung, Unterstützung; Sicherheitskopie“] * * * Back up …   Universal-Lexikon

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