backward

[[t]bæ̱kwə(r)d[/t]]
(In American English, backward is usually used as an adverb instead of backwards. Backward is also sometimes used in this way in formal British English. See backwards for these uses.)
1) ADJ: ADJ n A backward movement or look is in the direction that your back is facing. Some people use backwards for this meaning.

He unlocked the door of apartment two and disappeared inside after a backward glance at Larry...

He did a backward flip.

Ant:
2) ADJ: ADJ n If someone takes a backward step, they do something that does not change or improve their situation, but causes them to go back a stage.

At a certain age, it's not viable for men to take a backward step into unskilled work...

Many dentists will no longer treat National Health Service patients, which is a big backward step in this country.

Syn:
3) ADJ-GRADED A backward country or society does not have modern industries and machines.

We need to accelerate the pace of change in our backward country.

Ant:
Derived words:
backwardness N-UNCOUNT

I was astonished at the backwardness of our country at the time.

4) ADJ-GRADED A backward child has difficulty in learning.

...research into teaching techniques to help backward children...

I was slow to walk and talk and my parents thought I was backward.

Syn:
Derived words:
backwardness N-UNCOUNT

...her backwardness in practical and physical activities.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • backward — backward, retrograde, retrogressive, regressive all involve the idea of not moving or going ahead, or forward, or in advance. Only when applied to motion or a movement does backward imply the reverse of forward motion {a backward thrust of a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • backward — backward, backwards 1. For the adverb, both forms are in use, although backward is somewhat more common in AmE and backwards in BrE: • Talk ran backward from the events of the morning A. Munro, CanE 1987 • I walked backward to look at her in the… …   Modern English usage

  • Backward — Back ward, a. 1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances. [1913 Webster] 2. Unwilling; averse; reluctant; hesitating; loath. [1913 Webster] For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves. Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Not well advanced in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, Backwards Back wards, adv. [Back, adv. + ward.] 1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride backward. [1913 Webster] 2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms backward. [1913 Webster] 3. On the back, or with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — [adj1] toward the rear astern, behind, inverted, rearward, regressive, retrograde; concept 581 Ant. ahead, forward, to the front backward [adj2] bashful afraid, averse, demure, diffident, disinclined, hesitant, hesitating, humble, indisposed,… …   New thesaurus

  • backward — [bak′wərd] adv. [ME bakward, for abakward < abak (< OE on bæc, back) + ward (< OE weard, toward)] 1. toward the back or rear; behind 2. with the back or rear foremost 3. in reverse [to spell a word backward] 4. in a way contrary to the… …   English World dictionary

  • backward — (adv.) c.1300, from abakward, from O.E. on bæc (see BACK (Cf. back) (adv.)) + weard adj./adv. suffix (see WARD (Cf. ward)). O.E. had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. Meaning behindhand with regard to progress is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

  • backward — ► ADJECTIVE 1) directed behind or to the rear. 2) having made less progress than is normal or expected. ● not backward in Cf. ↑not backward in DERIVATIVES backwardly adverb backwardness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Backward — Back ward, n. The state behind or past. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] In the dark backward and abysm of time. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, v. t. To keep back; to hinder. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — I adjective arrested, behindhand, belated, dallying, defected, delayed, delaying, dilatory, impeded, late, mentally deficient, overdue, procrastinating, regressive, retarded, retroactive, retrograde, reversed, slow, subnormal, tardy, untimely II… …   Law dictionary

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