Definitions for: Back


[n] the position of a player on a football team who is stationed behind the line of scrimmage
[n] a support that you can lean against while sitting; "the back of the dental chair was adjustable"
[n] the part of a garment that covers your back; "they pinned a `kick me' sign on his back"
[n] the front and back covering of a book; "the book had a leather binding"
[n] the side that goes last or is not normally seen; "he wrote the date on the back of the photograph"
[n] the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine; "his back was nicely tanned"
[n] the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord; "the fall broke his back"
[n] the part of something that is furthest from the normal viewer; "he stood at the back of the stage"; "it was hidden in the rear of the store"
[n] (football) a person who plays in the backfield
[adv] in or to or toward a past time; "set the clocks back an hour"; "never look back"; "lovers of the past looking fondly backward"
[adv] at or to or toward or the back or rear; "he moved back"; "tripped when he stepped backward"; "she looked rearward out the window of the car"
[adv] in repayment or retaliation; "we paid back everything we had borrowed"; "he hit me and I hit him back"; "I was kept in after school for talking back to the teacher"
[adv] in or to or toward a former location; "she went back to her parents' house"
[adv] in or to or toward an original condition; "he went back to sleep"
[adv] in answer; "he wrote back three days later"; "had little to say in reply to the questions"
[v] shift to a counterclockwise direction; "the wind backed"
[v] strengthen by providing with a back or backing
[v] establish as valid or genuine; "Can you back up your claims?"
[v] place a bet on; "Which horse are you backing?"; "I'm betting on the new horse"
[v] travel backward; "back into the driveway"; "The car backed up and hit the tree"
[v] cause to travel backward; "back the car into the parking spot"
[v] support financial backing for; "back this enterprise"
[v] be behind; approve of; "He plumped for the Labor Party"; "I backed Kennedy in 1960"
[v] give support or one's blessing to; "I'll second that motion"; "I can't back this plan"; "endorse a new project"
[v] be in back of; "My garage backs their yard"



Webster (1913) Definition: Back, n. [F. bac: cf. Arm. bak tray, bowl.]
1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by
brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and
others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot
glue, etc.

Hop back, Jack back, the cistern which receives the
infusion of malt and hops from the copper.

Wash back, a vat in which distillers ferment the wort to
form wash.

Water back, a cistern to hold a supply of water; esp. a
small cistern at the back of a stove, or a group of pipes
set in the fire box of a stove or furnace, through which
water circulates and is heated.

2. A ferryboat. See Bac, 1.


Back, n. [As b[ae]c, bac; akin to Icel., Sw., & LG. bak,
Dan. bag; cf. OHG. bahho ham, Skr. bhaj to turn, OSlav. b?g?
flight. Cf. Bacon.]
1. In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending
from the neck to the end of the spine; in other animals,
that part of the body which corresponds most nearly to
such part of a human being; as, the back of a horse, fish,
or lobster.

2. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge.

[The mountains] their broad bare backs upheave Into
the clouds. --Milton.

3. The outward or upper part of a thing, as opposed to the
inner or lower part; as, the back of the hand, the back of
the foot, the back of a hand rail.

Methought Love pitying me, when he saw this, Gave me
your hands, the backs and palms to kiss. --Donne.

4. The part opposed to the front; the hinder or rear part of
a thing; as, the back of a book; the back of an army; the
back of a chimney.

5. The part opposite to, or most remote from, that which
fronts the speaker or actor; or the part out of sight, or
not generally seen; as, the back of an island, of a hill,
or of a village.

6. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its
edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.

7. A support or resource in reserve.

This project Should have a back or second, that
might hold, If this should blast in proof. --Shak.

8. (Naut.) The keel and keelson of a ship.

9. (Mining) The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a
horizontal underground passage.

10. A garment for the back; hence, clothing.

A bak to walken inne by daylight. --Chaucer.

Behind one's back, when one is absent; without one's
knowledge; as, to ridicule a person behind his back.

Full back, Half back, Quarter back (Football), players
stationed behind those in the front line.

To be or lie on one's back, to be helpless.

To put, or get, one's back up, to assume an attitude of
obstinate resistance (from the action of a cat when
attacked.). [Colloq.]

To see the back of, to get rid of.

To turn the back, to go away; to flee.

To turn the back on one, to forsake or neglect him.


Back, a.
1. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the
back door; back settlements.

2. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent.

3. Moving or operating backward; as, back action.

Back charges, charges brought forward after an account has
been made up.

Back filling (Arch.), the mass of materials used in filling
up the space between two walls, or between the inner and
outer faces of a wall, or upon the haunches of an arch or
vault.

Back pressure. (Steam Engine) See under Pressure.

Back rest, a guide attached to the slide rest of a lathe,
and placed in contact with the work, to steady it in
turning.

Back slang, a kind of slang in which every word is written
or pronounced backwards; as, nam for man.

Back stairs, stairs in the back part of a house; private
stairs. Also used adjectively. See Back stairs,
Backstairs, and Backstair, in the Vocabulary.

Back step (Mil.), the retrograde movement of a man or body
of men, without changing front.

Back stream, a current running against the main current of
a stream; an eddy.

To take the back track, to retrace one's steps; to retreat.
[Colloq.]


Back, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Backed; p. pr. & vb. n.
Backing.]
1. To get upon the back of; to mount.

I will back him [a horse] straight. --Shak.

2. To place or seat upon the back. [R.]

Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed, Appeared to
me. --Shak.

3. To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede;
as, to back oxen.

4. To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back
books.

5. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.

A garden . . . with a vineyard backed. --Shak.

The chalk cliffs which back the beach. --Huxley.

6. To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to
indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.

7. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or
influence; as, to back a friend. ``Parliament would be
backed by the people.'' --Macaulay.

Have still found it necessary to back and fortify
their laws with rewards and punishments. --South.

The mate backed the captain manfully. --Blackw. Mag.

8. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.

To back an anchor (Naut.), to lay down a small anchor ahead
of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened
to the crown of the large one.

To back the field, in horse racing, to bet against a
particular horse or horses, that some one of all the other
horses, collectively designated ``the field'', will win.


To back the oars, to row backward with the oars.

To back a rope, to put on a preventer.

To back the sails, to arrange them so as to cause the ship
to move astern.

To back up, to support; to sustain; as, to back up one's
friends.

To back a warrant (Law), is for a justice of the peace, in
the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or
indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend
an offender.

To back water (Naut.), to reverse the action of the oars,
paddles, or propeller, so as to force the boat or ship
backward.


Back, v. i.
1. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.

2. (Naut.) To change from one quarter to another by a course
opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.

3. (Sporting) To stand still behind another dog which has
pointed; -- said of a dog. [Eng.]

To back and fill, to manage the sails of a ship so that the
wind strikes them alternately in front and behind, in
order to keep the ship in the middle of a river or channel
while the current or tide carries the vessel against the
wind. Hence: (Fig.) To take opposite positions
alternately; to assert and deny. [Colloq.]

To back out, To back down, to retreat or withdraw from a
promise, engagement, or contest; to recede. [Colloq.]

Cleon at first . . . was willing to go; but, finding
that he [Nicias] was in earnest, he tried to back
out. --Jowett
(Thucyd. )


Back, adv. [Shortened from aback.]
1. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step
back.

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 left behind; to go back to one's native
place; to put a book back after reading it.

3. To a former state, condition, or station; as, to go back
to private life; to go back to barbarism.

4. (Of time) In times past; ago. ``Sixty or seventy years
back.'' --Gladstone.

5. Away from contact; by reverse movement.

The angel of the Lord . . . came, and rolled back
the stone from the door. --Matt. xxvii.
2.

6. In concealment or reserve; in one's own possession; as, to
keep back the truth; to keep back part of the money due to
another.

7. In a state of restraint or hindrance.

The Lord hath kept thee back from honor. --Numb.
xxiv. 11.

8. In return, repayment, or requital.

What have I to give you back! --Shak.

9. In withdrawal from a statement, promise, or undertaking;
as, he took back0 the offensive words.

10. In arrear; as, to be back in one's rent. [Colloq.]

Back and forth, backwards and forwards; to and fro.

To go back on, to turn back from; to abandon; to betray;
as, to go back on a friend; to go back on one's
professions. [Colloq.]

Synonyms: back up, backbone, backrest, backward, backwards, bet on, binding, book binding, cover, dorsum, endorse, gage, game, in reply, plump for, plunk for, punt, rachis, rear, rear, rearward, rearwards, spinal column, spine, stake, support, vertebral column

Antonyms: advance, ahead, bring forward, face, forrad, forrard, forward, forwards, front, front, front, frontward, frontwards, look, veer

See Also: affirm, after part, ante, approve, axial skeleton, back down, back off, back out, back up, back up, backfield, bet, body, body part, book, canalis vertebralis, cantle, car seat, chair, champion, change over, chine, cloth covering, coccyx, confirm, corroborate, defend, dorsal vertebra, double up, empennage, field general, field general, finance, flanker, flankerback, football player, footballer, fullback, go, guarantee, half binding, halfback, intervertebral disc, intervertebral disk, ladder-back, lat, latisimus dorsi, lie, line backer, linebacker, locomote, lumbar vertebra, move, notochord, O.K., okay, parlay, place, play, poop, position, position, protection, protective cover, protective covering, pull, quarter, quarterback, quarterback, root, running back, saddle, sanction, secondary, shift, side, side, signal caller, signal caller, skeletal structure, small, spinal canal, stern, strengthen, substantiate, support, support, sustain, switch, tail, tail assembly, tail bone, tailback, tailback, thoracic vertebra, three-quarter binding, torso, travel, trunk, vertebra, vertebral canal, volume, wager, warrant, wingback, wingback

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