Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “background”

background

noun
 
 
/ˈbækɡraʊnd/
SOUND [no plural] B2 Sounds in the background are not the main sounds you can hear: background music/noise I could hear a baby crying in the background.Sound and its properties
PERSON [C] B1 a person's education, family, and experience of life: She came from a middle-class background.Ancestors and descendantsSituations and circumstances
PICTURE [C, U] B2 the parts at the back of a picture, view, etc that are not the main things you look at: gold stars on a black background Pictures
SITUATION [C] B2 the situation that an event happens in, or things that have happened in the past that affect it: [usually singular] The talks are taking place against a background of economic uncertainty.Situations and circumstances
in the background If a person stays in the background, they try not to be noticed.Of little or less importance
(Definition of background from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “background” 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