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Definition of “back” - English Dictionary

"back" in American English

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backadverb [not gradable]

 us   /bæk/
in, at, or toward a ​previousplace or ​condition or an ​earliertime Back can also ​mean in ​return:
farther away; to a ​fartherplace

backadjective [not gradable]

 us   /bæk/
having ​returned to a ​previousplace or ​condition
at or near the back of something

backnoun

 us   /bæk/
  • back noun (FARTHEST PART)

[U] the ​part of something that is ​farthest from the ​front [U] The back of ​yourhand is the ​sideopposite the ​palm that has ​hairgrowing on it.
  • back noun (BODY PART)

[C] the ​part of ​yourbodyopposite the ​front, from ​yourneck to the ​top of ​yourlegs [C] The back of a ​seat is the ​partyour back ​leans against.

backverb

 us   /bæk/
  • back verb (SUPPORT)

[T] to give ​support to someone or something with ​money or words
  • back verb (MOVE BACKWARD)

[I/T] to move ​backward
(Definition of back from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"back" in British English

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backadverb

uk   us   /bæk/
  • back adverb (RETURN)

B2 in, into, or towards a ​previousplace or ​condition, or an ​earliertime: When you take the ​scissors, ​remember to put them back. He ​left a ​note saying "Gone out. Back ​soon." She went to ​Brazil for two ​years, but now she's back (= has ​returned). He ​looked back (= ​looked behind him) and ​saw they were ​following him. Looking at her ​oldphotographs brought back (= made her ​remember) a lot of ​memories. I was ​woken by a ​thunderstorm, and I couldn't get back tosleep (= could not ​sleep again). The last ​time we ​saw Lowell was back (= at an ​earliertime) in ​January. This ​traditiondates back to (= to the ​earliertime of) the 16th ​century.A2 in ​return: If he ​hits me, I'll ​hit him back. You're not just going to ​let her say those things about you without ​fighting back, are you?A2 in ​reply: I'm ​busy at the ​moment - can I ​call you back? I ​wrote to Donna several ​months ago, but she hasn't written back ​yet.

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  • back adverb (FURTHER AWAY)

B2 further away in ​distance: If we ​push the ​table back against the ​wall, we'll have more ​room. "Keep back!" he ​shouted, "Don't come any ​closer!" He ​sat back on the ​sofa. She ​threw back her ​head and ​laugheduproariously. The ​house is set back from the ​street.

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backnoun [C]

uk   us   /bæk/
  • back noun [C] (FURTHEST PART)

A2 the inside or ​outsidepart of an ​object, ​vehicle, ​building, etc. that is ​furthest from the ​front: He ​jotted her ​name down on the back of an ​envelope. I ​found my ​tennisracket at the back of the ​cupboard. We ​sat at the back of the ​bus. Our ​seats were ​right at the back of the ​auditorium. Ted was out/round the back (= in the ​area behind the ​house)." There is a ​beautifulgarden at the back of (= behind) the ​house. If there's no ​reply at the ​frontdoor, come round the back. He put his ​jacket on the back of his ​chair (= the ​part of the ​chair that you put ​your back against when you ​sit on it).back to back close together and ​facing in ​oppositedirections: The ​office was ​full of ​computers, and we had to ​sit back to back in ​longrows. happening one after another, without ​interruption: Coming up after the ​break, three Rolling Stones ​classics back to back.
See also
back to front C2 UK (US backwards) with the back ​part of something where the ​front should be: You've put ​yourjumper on back to ​front.the back of your hand the ​side of ​yourhand that has ​hairgrowing on it

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  • back noun [C] (BODY PART)

A2 the ​part of ​yourbody that is ​opposite to the ​front, from ​yourshoulders to ​yourbottom: I have a ​bad back. Sleeping on a ​bed that is too ​soft can be ​bad for ​your back. He ​lay on his back, ​staring at the ​ceiling. I turned my back (= ​turned around so that I could not ​see) while she ​dressed. She put her back out (= ​caused a ​seriousinjury to her back)lifting a ​box.

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backverb

uk   us   /bæk/
  • back verb (SUPPORT)

C2 [T] to give ​support to someone or something with ​money or words: The ​management has ​refused to back ​ourproposals.

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  • back verb (RISK MONEY)

to ​riskmoney by saying that you ​think a ​horse, ​team, etc. will ​win a ​race, ​game, or ​competition in ​order to ​win more ​money if they do: The ​horse I backed came in last.
  • back verb (MOVE AWAY)

C2 [I or T, + adv/prep] to (​cause to) ​movebackwards: Ann gave up ​driving when she backed the ​car into the ​garagedoor. Please could you back ​yourcar up a few ​feet so that I can get mine out of the ​driveway?
  • back verb (COVER)

[T] to ​cover the back of something with a ​material, often to make it ​stronger or ​thicker: The ​material is backed with a ​heavylining.

backadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /bæk/
at or near the back of something: She ​left the ​house by the back door. The back seat of the ​carfolds down.

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paid after the end of a ​period of ​time when it should have been ​paid: They ​owe the ​staff several thousand in back pay. back rent/​taxes
(Definition of back from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"back" in Business English

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backverb [T]

uk   us   /bæk/
to give ​support or ​approval to someone or something: Shareholders will be ​asked to back the ​proposals.
FINANCE to ​providefinancialsupport for someone or something: A handful of ​firms will ​sell more than $2 ​billion of ​bonds backed byhomeequity, ​creditcard, and other ​loans. Demand continues for government-backedloans. Investors are ​snapping up asset-backedbonds.

backadjective [before noun]

uk   us   /bæk/
back pay/rent/tax, etc. pay, ​rent, ​tax, etc. that should have been ​paid or was expected at an earlier ​time: Most of the back ​taxesdue were for the ​years 2006 through 2008.
on the back burner If something is on the back burner, it is not being dealt with at the ​presenttime, especially because it is not urgent or important, but it will be dealt with in the future: Any ​plans of ​opening new ​restaurants are on the back burner until the ​recessionends. I ​lost my ​job and had to put my ​plans to ​movehouse on the back burner.
take a back seat to become less important (than something else): Agriculture, which ​generates only about $50 million a ​year in ​revenue, takes a back ​seat to other ​industries like ​oil and ​gas that ​bring in ​billions of ​dollars. Environmental ​issues take a back ​seat in tough ​economictimes. to ​let other ​people have a more ​active and ​responsibleposition than you in an ​organization or ​activity: After ​appointing a new ​chiefexecutive, the ​chairman of the ​fashionchain is ​finally taking a back ​seat at the ​business he ​founded.

backadverb

uk   us   /bæk/
in ​return or ​reply: I'm ​busy at the moment - can I ​call you back? I e-mailed the ​customerservicesdepartment and they said they would get back to me tomorrow.
(Definition of back from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“back” in Business English

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