backward Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Definition of “backward” - English Dictionary

"backward" in American English

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backwardadverb [not gradable]

 us   /ˈbæk·wərd/ (also backwards,  /ˈbæk·wərdz/ )

backward adverb [not gradable] (TOWARD THE BACK)

toward the ​direction that is ​opposite to the one in which you are ​facing or ​opposite to the ​usualdirection: He took a ​step backward. He ​begancounting backward: "Ten, nine, eight . . ." She was ​skating around the ​rink, backward and ​forward.


 us   /ˈbæk·wərd/

backward adjective (TOWARD THE BACK)

[not gradable] directed toward the back or in the ​direction that is ​opposite to the one in which you are ​facing: He did a ​terrific backward ​somersault.

backward adjective (NOT DEVELOPED)

not ​developed, or not ​modern or ​advanced: The ​stateneeds to ​reformits backward ​electionlaws.
(Definition of backward from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"backward" in British English

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uk   /ˈbæk.wəd/  us   /-wɚd/

backward adjective (NOT INTELLIGENT/MODERN)

C2 not ​advanced: When he was a ​child, his ​teachersthought he was backward (= ​unable to ​learn as much as most ​children). People still ​think of it as a backward ​country/​region/​area (= one without ​industry or ​modernmachines).

backward adjective (OPPOSITE DIRECTION)

towards the ​direction that is the ​opposite to the one in which you are ​facing: She ​left without a backward glance. He did a ​fantastic backward somersault.
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/
They were ​accused of backwardness (= very ​old-fashionedways) because they had no ​washingmachine.


uk   /ˈbæk.wəd/  us   /-wɚd/ mainly US
→  backwards
(Definition of backward from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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