back1 [bak]
[ME bak < OE baec; akin to ON bak, OHG bahho]
1. the part of the body opposite to the front; in humans and many other animals, the part to the rear or top reaching from the nape of the neck to the end of the spine
2. the backbone or spine
3. the part of a chair that supports one's back
4. the part of a garment or harness that fits on the back of a person or animal
5. physical strength [put some back into the work]
6. the rear or hinder part of anything; part behind or opposite the front [the back of the room, the back of his leg]
7. the part or side of anything that is less often used, seen, etc. [the back of the hand; the back of a carpet, textile, etc.; the back of a knife]
a) the part of a book where the sections are sewed or glued together; part covered by the spine
b) the spine of a book
9. Mining the roof or overhead part of an underground passage
10. Sports a player positioned behind many of his or her teammates, as a running back in football or a halfback in soccer
1. at the rear or back; behind
2. distant or remote [back country]
3. of or for a time in the past [a back copy of a newspaper, back pay]
4. in a backward direction; returning; reversed [a back step]
5. Phonet. articulated with the tongue toward the back of the mouth: said of certain vowels, as (o͞o) in cool
[ME bac < abac < OE on bæc, backward]
1. at, to, or toward the rear; backward
2. to or toward a former position or location
3. into or toward a previous condition
4. to or toward an earlier time
5. so as to keep in reserve or concealment [to hold back information]
6. in return or requital [to pay someone back]
1. to cause to move backward, or to the rear: often with up
2. to be at the back of; stand behind
3. to support or help, as with money, endorsement, etc.
4. to make a wager in support of; bet on
5. to get on the back of; mount
6. to provide with a back or backing
7. to form the back of
8. to sign on the back; endorse
9. to provide security for (a currency, loan, etc.)
a) to move or go backward [to back into a room]
b) to move (into a desired position) through the faulty performance of an opponent [to back into a championship]
2. to have the back in a certain place or direction [the house backs on a lake]
3. Meteorol. to shift counterclockwise (in the Northern Hemisphere): said of the changing direction of a wind: opposed to VEER1 (vi. 3)
back and fill
1. to handle sails so that they alternately spill wind and fill with wind, as in maneuvering in a narrow channel
2. to zigzag
3. to vacillate, as in a decision
back and forth
1. to and fro
2. from side to side
☆ back down
to withdraw from a position or a claim
back off
1. to move back a short distance
2. Informal BACK DOWN
3. Informal to refrain or cease from pursuing or annoying; lay off
back out
1. to withdraw from an enterprise
2. to refuse to keep a promise
back out of
1. to withdraw from (an enterprise)
2. to refuse to keep (a promise)
back up or back away
1. to support or help
2. to move or go backward: also back away
3. to accumulate as the result of a stoppage [traffic backed up for a mile]
4. Baseball to take a position behind (a teammate) in case there should be a mishandled or erratically thrown ball
5. Comput. to make a standby or alternate copy of (data, a file, etc.)
back water
1. to use oars, a propeller, etc. to move backward or prevent drifting
2. to withdraw from a position or a claim
behind someone's back
without someone's knowledge or consent
be flat on one's back or be on one's back
to be ill, bedridden, or helpless
☆ get off someone's back
Slang to stop nagging or harassing someone
get one's back up
Informal to become angry
☆ go back on Informal
1. to be faithless or disloyal to; betray
2. to fail to keep (a promise, one's word, etc.)
☆ in back of or back of
at or to the rear of; behind
put someone's back up
Informal to make someone angry
turn one's back on
1. to show anger, contempt, etc. toward by turning away from
2. to ignore the plight of; desert; fail
with one's back to the wall
in a desperate position, as a cornered fighter
back2 [bak]
[Du bak < LL bacca, water bowl]
a vat or tub used in certain industrial processes

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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