the rear part of the human body from the neck to the end of the spine.
Anatomythe part of an animal's body corresponding to the human back:stroked her dog on the back.
the part that forms the back or reverse of an object or structure:I sat at the back of the room.
the spine; backbone: broke his back.
a player, as in football, stationed to the rear of front-line play.
[ ~ + obj] to support, as with money: We'll back his plan if you do.
[ ~ + obj] to bet on: to back a horse in a race.
to (cause to) move backward: [no obj ]:She backed slowly into the garage.[ ~ + obj]:He backed the truck to the platform.
[ ~ + obj] to furnish with or be a back for:backed the picture with cardboard.
[ ~ + onto + obj] to lie at the back of something:The house backs onto the river.
back down or off, [no obj ] to give up an argument or position:backed down from her stubborn refusal.
back out, [no obj ] to fail to keep a promise; withdraw:Don't try to back out of the deal.
to bring or come to a complete stop or standstill: [ ~ + up + obj; usually passive]:Traffic is backed up to the bridge.[no obj ]:Traffic backed up quickly because of the accident.
to (cause to) become clogged due to a stoppage: [no obj]:The sink backs up almost every week.[ ~ + up + obj]:That garbage will back up your septic tank.
Computing[ ~ + up + obj ] to copy (a computer file or program) as a precaution against failure.
[before a noun] situated at or in the rear:the back door.
[before a noun] far away; remote:The farmer didn't plant the back pasture.
[before a noun] of or belonging to the past: the back issues of a magazine.
[before a noun] owed from an earlier time; overdue: She was rehired and given back pay.
at, to, or toward the rear; backward: Please step back.
in, at, or toward an original starting place, time, or condition: He went back to his home town. Put your coat back on.
back and forth,
backward and forward; to and fro:pacing back and forth while I waited for the news.
Idiomsbehind one's back, without one's knowledge; They talked about me behind my back.
Idiomsget one's back up, [no obj] to become annoyed; take offense:Don't get your back up; it was just a joke.
go back on, [ ~ + obj]
to fail to keep:Several times he went back on his word.
to be disloyal to; betray:She went back on her friend.
Idioms(in) back of, at the rear of; behind:There's a small garden in back of the house.
Although some people object to the use of in back of with the meaning "behind,'' it is fully established as standard in American English and appears in all types of speech and writing: The car was parked in back of the house.
41.See corresponding entry in Unabridged retire, retreat, withdraw.
52.See corresponding entry in UnabridgedBack,hind,posterior,rear refer to something situated behind something else. Back means the opposite of front:back window.Hind, and the more formal word posterior, suggest the rearmost of two or more often similar objects:hind legs; posterior lobe.Rear is used of buildings, conveyances, etc., and in military language it is the opposite of fore:rear end of a truck; rear echelon.
1, 52.See corresponding entry in Unabridged front.
26. Although some object to their use, the phrases inbackof and the shorter--and much older--backof with the meaning "behind'' are fully established as standard in American English:The car was parked(in) back of the house. Both phrases occur in all types of speech and writing.
at, to, or toward the rear; backward:to step back.
in or toward the past:to look back on one's youth; They met in Chicago back in 1976.
at or toward the original starting point, place, or condition:to go back to the old neighborhood.
in direct payment or return:to pay back a loan; to answer back.
in a state of restraint or retention:to hold back the tears; to hold back salary.
in a reclining position:to lean back; to lie back.
Idiomsback and forth, from side to side; to and fro; from one to the other:The pendulum of the grandfather clock swung back and forth.
Dialect Terms, Idiomsback yonder,[Chiefly South Midland U.S.]formerly; many years ago:Back yonder, when I was a boy, things were different.
go back on:
to be treacherous or faithless to; betray:to go back on friends.
to fail to keep; renege on:to go back on promises.
aphetic variant of aback 1480–90
a large tub, vat, or cistern used by dyers, brewers, distillers, etc., to hold liquids.
a broad-beamed ferryboat hauled across a body of water by a rope or chain.
Late Latin bacca water container; compare French bac ferryboat, punt. See basin.