Definition of


  1. (noun, act) (American football) the position of a player on a football team who is stationed behind the line of scrimmage
  2. (noun, artifact) a support that you can lean against while sitting
  3. (noun, artifact) the part of a garment that covers the back of your body
  4. (noun, artifact) the protective covering on the front, back, and spine of a book
  5. (noun, artifact) the side that goes last or is not normally seen
  6. (noun, body) the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
  7. (noun, body) the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
  8. (noun, location) the part of something that is furthest from the normal viewer
    it was hidden in the rear of the store
  9. (noun, person) (football) a person who plays in the backfield
  10. (verb, change) strengthen by providing with a back or backing
  11. (verb, change) establish as valid or genuine
  12. (verb, change) shift to a counterclockwise direction
  13. (verb, competition) place a bet on
    I'm betting on the new horse
  14. (verb, motion) travel backward
    The car backed up and hit the tree
  15. (verb, motion) cause to travel backward
  16. (verb, possession) support financial backing for
  17. (verb, social) be behind; approve of
    I backed Kennedy in 1960
  18. (verb, social) give support or one's approval to
    I can't back this plan
    endorse a new project
  19. (verb, stative) be in back of
  20. (adj, all) located at or near the back of an animal
    the hinder part of a carcass
  21. (adj, all) related to or located at the back
    the back entrance
  22. (adj, all) of an earlier date
  23. (adv, all) in or to or toward a past time
    never look back
    lovers of the past looking fondly backward
  24. (adv, all) at or to or toward the back or rear
    tripped when he stepped backward
    she looked rearward out the window of the car
  25. (adv, all) in repayment or retaliation
    he hit me and I hit him back
    I was kept in after school for talking back to the teacher
  26. (adv, all) in or to or toward a former location
  27. (adv, all) in or to or toward an original condition
  28. (adv, all) in reply

via WordNet, Princeton University

Antonyms of Back

advance, ahead, front, veer

Origin of the word Back

  1. O.E. b?c "back, backwards, behind," from P.Gmc. *bakam (cf. O.S., M.Du. bak, O.Fris. bek), with no known connections outside Germanic. The cognates mostly have been ousted in this sense in other modern Gmc. languages by words akin to Modern English ridge (cf. Dan. ryg, Ger. R?cken). Many I.E. languages show signs of once having distingu… more
  2. late 15c., "to move (something) back," from back (adj.); meaning "to support" (as by a bet) is first attested 1540s. more
  3. O.E. b?c "backwards, behind" (see back (n.)). Back-seat driver first attested 1926. The back of (one's) hand has been used to imply contempt and rejection since at least 1300; to know (something) like the back of one's hand, implying familiarity, is first attested 1943. To be on the back burner in the figurative sense is from 1960, from the im… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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