Behind one's back
Back Back (b[a^]k), n. [AS. b[ae]c, bac; akin to Icel., Sw., & LG. bak, Dan. bag; cf. OHG. bahho ham, Skr. bhaj to turn, OSlav. b[=e]g[u^] flight. Cf. {Bacon}.] 1. In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending from the neck to the end of the spine; in other animals, that part of the body which corresponds most nearly to such part of a human being; as, the back of a horse, fish, or lobster. [1913 Webster]

2. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge. [1913 Webster]

[The mountains] their broad bare backs upheave Into the clouds. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. The outward or upper part of a thing, as opposed to the inner or lower part; as, the back of the hand, the back of the foot, the back of a hand rail. [1913 Webster]

Methought Love pitying me, when he saw this, Gave me your hands, the backs and palms to kiss. --Donne. [1913 Webster]

4. The part opposed to the front; the hinder or rear part of a thing; as, the back of a book; the back of an army; the back of a chimney. [1913 Webster]

5. The part opposite to, or most remote from, that which fronts the speaker or actor; or the part out of sight, or not generally seen; as, the back of an island, of a hill, or of a village. [1913 Webster]

6. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw. [1913 Webster]

7. A support or resource in reserve. [1913 Webster]

This project Should have a back or second, that might hold, If this should blast in proof. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

8. (Naut.) The keel and keelson of a ship. [1913 Webster]

9. (Mining) The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage. [1913 Webster]

10. A garment for the back; hence, clothing. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

A bak to walken inne by daylight. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{Behind one's back}, when one is absent; without one's knowledge; as, to ridicule a person behind his back.

{Full back}, {Half back}, {Quarter back} (Football), players stationed behind those in the front line.

{To be on one's back} or {To lie on one's back}, to be helpless.

{To put one's back up} or {to get one's back up}, to assume an attitude of obstinate resistance (from the action of a cat when attacked). [Colloq.]

{To see the back of}, to get rid of.

{To turn the back}, to go away; to flee.

{To turn the back on one}, to forsake or neglect him. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • behind one’s back — [adv] deceitfully covertly, secretly, sneakily, sub rosa, surreptitiously; concepts 267,548 …   New thesaurus

  • behind one's back — idi behind one s back, without one s knowledge, esp. treacherously or secretly …   From formal English to slang

  • behind one's back — {adv. phr.} When one is absent; without one s knowledge or consent; in a dishonest way; secretly; sneakily. * /Say it to his face, not behind his back./ * /It is not right to criticize a person behind his back./ Contrast: TO ONE S FACE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • behind one's back — {adv. phr.} When one is absent; without one s knowledge or consent; in a dishonest way; secretly; sneakily. * /Say it to his face, not behind his back./ * /It is not right to criticize a person behind his back./ Contrast: TO ONE S FACE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • behind\ one's\ back — adv. phr. When one is absent; without one s knowledge or consent; in a dishonest way; secretly; sneakily. Say it to his face, not behind his back. It is not right to criticize a person behind his back. Contrast: to one s face …   Словарь американских идиом

  • behind one's back — phrasal : when one is not present : without one s knowledge : in secret make vicious remarks about you behind your back …   Useful english dictionary

  • behind one's back — phrasal without one s knowledge ; in secret …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • behind one's back — without someone s knowledge He is very angry because they borrowed the car behind his back …   Idioms and examples

  • behind one's back — do or say something (usually harmful) without another s knowledge …   English contemporary dictionary

  • with one hand behind one's back — with one hand (tied) behind one s back with serious limitations or restrictions at the moment, the police are tackling record crime rates with one hand tied behind their back ■ used to indicate that one could do something without any difficulty I …   Useful english dictionary

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