Meaning of “behind” in the English Dictionary

"behind" in British English

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behindpreposition, adverb

uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us /bɪˈhaɪnd/

A1 at the back (of):

Look behind you!
I hung my coat behind the door.
Alex led, and I followed along behind.
mainly UK As hard as she tried, she always fell behind the other swimmers in the races.
figurative I knew that behind (= hidden by) her smile was sadness.

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uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us /bɪˈhaɪnd/


uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us /bɪˈhaɪnd/

behindnoun [ C ]

uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us /bɪˈhaɪnd/ informal

the part of the body on which a person sits:

He tripped and fell on his behind.
Why don't you get off your behind (= stand up) and do something!

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

"behind" in American English

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behindpreposition, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /bɪˈhɑɪnd/

behind preposition, adverb [ not gradable ] (IN BACK OF)

in or to the back (of):

The sun came out from behind the clouds.
He opened the door and went in, pulling it shut behind him.
A police car pulled up behind us.
I realized I’d left my umbrella behind (= in the place I had left).

Behind can also mean responsible for or causing:

What was the motive behind the bombing?

behindnoun [ C ]

us /bɪˈhɑɪnd/ infml

behind noun [ C ] (BODY PART)

the part of the body on which a person sits; the buttocks

(Definition of “behind” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"behind" in Business English

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uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us
be/fall/get behind in/on/with sth

to be late in paying a regular amount of money or in completing work:

They offer advice to people who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
He lost his job and fell behind with his rent.
The company is an unacceptable six months behind in paying suppliers and vendors.


uk /bɪˈhaɪnd/ us

less successful, or making less progress than someone or something else:

BMW ranks only 14th among the world's automakers, ahead of Mazda and behind Mitsubishi in global unit sales.
The company's poor performance leaves it lagging 30% behind the average pension fund over the past 18 months.

responsible for causing something:

Such thinking was the driving force behind the company's success.
They suspected that something more significant might be behind the rise in share prices.
She has shares in the company behind the hit television gameshow.
be behind sb/sth

to support someone in what they are doing:

He has the support of the whole company - we're all behind him.
I'm 100% behind the project.
behind schedule

moving slower or happening later than the planned time:

The cancellation came after the project was millions of dollars over budget and months behind schedule.

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