Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “background”

background

noun  /ˈbækˌɡrɑʊnd/ us  

background noun (THINGS BEHIND)

[C/U] things that appear to be farther away or behind what is nearer or in front, esp. in a picture: [C] He photographed the models against different backgrounds. [U] With so much noise in the background, I couldn’t hear what she was saying. [C] The city’s skyline was our background. [C/U] A background can also be whatever is happening around you but not involving you directly: Worry was always part of the background. art [C/U] In a painting or a story, the background is the people and things that are less important and not the main subject.

background noun (EXPERIENCE)

[C] the things that have made you into the person you are, esp. family, experience, and education: The school has students from many different backgrounds. [C] An event’s background is facts or history that help to explain how or why it happened: To understand the war, we need to consider its historical and political background.
(Definition of background from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of background?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “background” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hoppy

like hops (= dried fruit used to make beer)

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More