1) N-COUNT: usu sing, usu with supp Your background is the kind of family you come from and the kind of education you have had. It can also refer to such things as your social and racial origins, your financial status, or the type of work experience that you have.

Moulded by his background, he could not escape the traditional role of strict father...

She came from a working-class Yorkshire background...

His background was in engineering.

2) N-COUNT: usu sing, with supp, oft against N The background to an event or situation consists of the facts that explain what caused it.

The background to the current troubles is provided by the dire state of the country's economy...

The meeting takes place against a background of continuing political violence.

...background information.

3) N-SING: the N The background is sounds, such as music, which you can hear but which you are not listening to with your full attention.

I kept hearing the sound of applause in the background.

...police sirens wailing in the background...

The background music was provided by an accordion player.

4) N-COUNT: usu sing You can use background to refer to the things in a picture or scene that are less noticeable or important than the main things or people in it.

...roses patterned on a blue background...

Paint the background tones lighter and the colours cooler.

PHRASE Someone who stays in the background avoids being noticed, although the things that they do are important or influential.

Rosemary likes to stay in the background.

English dictionary. 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • background — ack ground , n. [Back, a. + ground.] [1913 Webster] 1. Ground in the rear or behind, or in the distance, as opposed to the {foreground}, or the ground in front. [1913 Webster] 2. (Paint.) The space which is behind and subordinate to a portrait… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Background — The term background may refer to:In art: *Background (art), the part of a scene that appears to be farthest from the viewer *Background lighting, a film techniqueIn computing: *Background (computer software), software that is running but not… …   Wikipedia

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  • Background radiation — This article is about ionizing radiation. For microwave background radiation from space, see Cosmic background radiation and cosmic background. Thermal radiation emitted by Earth is not considered in this category because it is not ionizing.… …   Wikipedia

  • Background check — A background check or background investigation is the process of looking up and compiling criminal records, commercial records and financial records (in certain instances such as employment screening) of an individual. Background checks are often …   Wikipedia

  • Background light — The background light is used to illuminate the background area of a set. The background light will also provide separation between the subject and the background. In the standard 4 point lighting setup, the background light is placed last and is… …   Wikipedia

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