Meaning of “background” in the English Dictionary

"background" in English

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uk /ˈbæk.ɡraʊnd/ 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.

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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.

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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

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backgroundadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈbæk.ɡraʊnd/ us /ˈbæk.ɡraʊnd/

(Definition of “background” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"background" in American English

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us /ˈbækˌɡrɑʊnd/

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)

"background" in Business English

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uk /ˈbækɡraʊnd/ us

[ C ] HR the type of experience, training, education, etc. that a person has:

We have applicants from many different types of background.
As well as a sound background in economics and statistics, the candidate must demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively.
economics/science, etc. background Applicants must have a strong engineering background.

[ S or U ] the set of conditions that existed before a particular event, or information about them which helps to explain the event:

So Deborah, why don't you give us a little background on the situation?

[ U ] IT a computer feature that allows processes to continue without interrupting the user:

Keep your firewall and antivirus programs running in the background.

(Definition of “background” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)