Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “back”

back

adverb
 
 
/bæk/
RETURNING A1 where someone or something was before: I'll be back in Sydney on the 20th. When do you go back to college? I put it back in the cupboard.Returning to a place
BEHIND B1 in a direction behind you: Anna stepped back. Flint leaned back in his chair.Backwards, sideways and back and forth
REPLY A2 as a reply or reaction to something: UK to ring back/ US to call back I signalled to her and she waved back.Answering and responding
STATE B1 to the state something or someone was in before: Hopefully things will get back to normal again now. I'm sure we can put it back together again (= repair it). Try to go back to sleep.In the past
EARLIER B2 at or to an earlier time: We first met back in 1973. Looking back, I think we did the right thing.In the past
AWAY FROM B2 in a direction away from something: He pulled back the curtain. The house was a short distance back from the road.Backwards, sideways and back and forth
back and forth (also backwards and forwards) in one direction, then the opposite way, then in the original direction again many times: He has to travel back and forth between London and Paris every week.Backwards, sideways and back and forth
(Definition of back adverb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “back” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hello stranger

said to a person that you know but have not seen for a long time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More