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

generous

willing to give money, help, kindness, etc., especially more than is usual or expected

Word of the Day

May I sit here? Asking for and giving permission.

by Liz Walter,
June 03, 2015
We often find ourselves in situations where we need to ask for permission or to reply to people who ask us for permission. Here are some words and phrases to help you do this in a natural way. The simplest way to ask for permission is with the modal verb can: Can

Read More 

ebolaphobia noun

June 01, 2015
irrational fear of the (spread of) the Ebola virus Ebolaphobia Going Viral

Read More