background ack"ground`, n. [Back, a. + ground.] [1913 Webster] 1. Ground in the rear or behind, or in the distance, as opposed to the {foreground}, or the ground in front. [1913 Webster]

2. (Paint.) The space which is behind and subordinate to a portrait or group of figures. [1913 Webster]

Note: The distance in a picture is usually divided into foreground, middle distance, and background. --Fairholt. [1913 Webster]

3. Anything behind, serving as a foil; as, the statue had a background of red hangings. [1913 Webster]

4. A place in obscurity or retirement, or out of sight. [1913 Webster]

I fancy there was a background of grinding and waiting before Miss Torry could produce this highly finished . . . performance. --Mrs. Alexander. [1913 Webster]

A husband somewhere in the background. --Thackeray. [1913 Webster]

5. The set of conditions within which an action takes place, including the social and physical conditions as well as the psychological states of the participants; as, within the background of the massive budget deficits of the 1980's, new spending programs had little chance of passage by the congress. [PJC]

6. The set of conditions that precede and affect an action, such as the social and historical precedents for the event, as well as the general background[5]; as, against the background of their expulsion by the Serbs, the desire of Kosovars for vengeance is understandable though regrettable. [PJC]

7. (Science) The signals that may be detected by a measurement which are not due to the phenomenon being studied, and tend to make the measurement uncertain to a greater or lesser degree. Specifically: (Physics) Electronic noise present in a system using electronic measuring instrument or in a telecommunications system, which may hide and which must be differentiated from the desired signal; also called background noise or {noise}. [PJC]

8. (Journalism) An agreement between a journalist and an interviewee that the name of the interviewee will not be quoted in any publication, although the substance of the remarks may be reported; -- often used in the phrase ``on background''. Compare {deep background}. [PJC]

{To place in the background}, to make of little consequence.

{To keep in the background}, to remain unobtrusive, inconspicuous or out of sight; -- of people.

{deep background}, (Journalism) the status of an interview which must not be quoted in a publication, even without attribution. Compare {background}[8]. [1913 Webster +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • background — back‧ground [ˈbækgraʊnd] noun [countable] 1. HUMAN RESOURCES someone s past, for example their education, qualifications, and the jobs they have had: • We are looking for someone with a background in tourism. 2. in the background COMPUTING a… …   Financial and business terms

  • background — background, setting, environment, milieu, mise en scène, backdrop are comparable when they refer to persons and their actions as found in real life or as represented in art and denote the place, time, circumstances, and conditions in which those… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • background — [ bakgraund ] n. m. • 1953; mot angl. , de back « qui est derrière » et ground « sol » ♦ Anglic. Arrière plan, cadre, contexte (d une action, d un événement). Recomm. offic. arrière plan. ● background nom masculin (mot anglais) Contexte, arrière… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • background — BACKGROUND, backgrounduri, s.n. 1. (Englezism) Fundal. 2. Fond sonor al unei partituri solistice în jaz. 3. Tehnică de filmare la care fundalul este obţinut prin retroproiecţie. [pr.: bécgraund] – Din engl. background. Trimis de paula, 13.09.2007 …   Dicționar Român

  • background — [bak′ground΄] n. 1. the part of a scene or picture that is or seems to be toward the back 2. surroundings, esp. those behind something and providing harmony or contrast; surface against which something is seen 3. a less important or unobtrusive… …   English World dictionary

  • background — (izg. bȅkgraund) m DEFINICIJA term. 1. površina ili prostor na kojem se predmeti ili pojave ili vide ili prikazuju; podloga, pozadina 2. a. obitelj iz koje netko potječe, njegova izobrazba, društveno i nacionalno podrijetlo, ono što čini… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • background — La voz inglesa background se emplea con cierta frecuencia en español con los sentidos de ‘conjunto de circunstancias vitales, conocimientos o experiencias que han contribuido a la formación de una persona’ y ‘orígenes o antecedentes de una… …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • Background — Background: Das Fremdwort mit der Bedeutung »Hintergrund; Milieu; musikalische Begleitung; Lebenserfahrung« wurde in der 2. Hälfte des 20. Jh.s aus gleichbed. engl. background entlehnt, aus back »zurück« und ground »‹Hinter›grund« …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • background — index atmosphere, basis, case (set of circumstances), context, determinant, preparation, scene Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burto …   Law dictionary

  • background — / bækgraʊnd/, it. /bɛk graund/ s. ingl. [comp. di back dietro e ground terreno, campo ], usato in ital. al masch. 1. [complesso di fatti e circostanze che fanno da sfondo a un avvenimento e lo spiegano] ▶◀ retroscena, retroterra, sfondo. ↑ causa …   Enciclopedia Italiana

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