Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “back”

See all translations

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

exercise

physical activity that you do to make your body strong and healthy

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More