background definition, meaning - what is background in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “background”

See all translations

background

noun uk   us   /ˈbæk.ɡraʊnd/

background noun (PICTURE)

B2 [C] the things that can be seen behind the main things or people in a picture: The artist himself did not paint the backgrounds to his pictures - they were done by his pupils. He has photographed her against lots of different backgrounds. They were filmed against a background of dark fir trees. The book's cover has white lettering on a blue background. The little figure that you can just see in the background of the photograph is me.
More examples

background noun (SOUND)

B2 [S] sounds that can be heard behind other sounds that are louder: If you listen carefully to this piece of music, you can hear a flute in the background. We couldn't hear what they were saying on the tape - there was too much background noise.
More examples

background noun (SITUATION)

B2 [S or U] the conditions that existed before a particular event happened, and that help to explain why it happened: These decisions have had to be made against a background of high unemployment. Can you give me some background on (= information about the conditions that existed before) the situation?the background C2 If someone or something is in the background, they are not the main point of attention: Her worries about her job have faded into the background since she learned about her father's illness.

background noun (FAMILY EXPERIENCE)

B1 [C] your family and your experience of education, living conditions, money, etc.: The school has students from many different ethnic/cultural/religious backgrounds. They come from a privileged/wealthy background. a background in publishing
More examples

background

adjective [before noun] uk   us   /ˈbæk.ɡraʊnd/
used to refer to something that is done before, and in preparation for, something else: Students are expected to do some background reading before the course starts. The book provides background information on the history of the region.
(Definition of background from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of background?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More meanings of “background”

Definitions of “background” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

air force

the part of a country's military forces that uses aircraft and fights in the air

Word of the Day

Go ahead! (Phrasal verbs with ‘go’)

by Kate Woodford,
May 06, 2015
​​​ Every few weeks, we focus on phrasal verbs that are formed with a particular verb. This week, we’re looking at phrasal verbs that start with the verb ‘go’. As ever, we present a range of the most useful and common phrasal verbs. Some of the most common ‘go’ phrasal verbs are easy

Read More 

Evel abbreviation

May 04, 2015
English votes for English laws; the idea that only English (as opposed to Scottish, Welsh or Irish) MPs should be allowed to vote for laws that affect only England Yet these are the two principal constitutional proposals that have come from the Conservative party in its kneejerk response to Ukip’s English nationalism and

Read More