back and fill
phrasal 1. to manage the sails of a ship so as to keep it clear of obstructions as it floats down with the current of a river or channel 2. to take opposite positions alternately ; shilly-shally

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • back and fill — phrasal 1. : to alternately back the sails and fill the sails of a ship so as to keep it clear of the shore and obstructions while the current of a river or channel carries it down 2. : to take opposite positions alternately : alternately favor… …   Useful english dictionary

  • back and fill — Synonyms and related words: about ship, alternate, battledore and shuttlecock, bear away, bear off, bear to starboard, beat, beat about, box off, break, bring about, bring round, cant, cant round, cast, cast about, change, change course, change… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • back and fill — v. guide a water vessel through a narrow area by alternately letting the sails catch the wind and preventing the sails from catching the wind (Nautical); fluctuate between two actions or decisions; vacillate, hesitate …   English contemporary dictionary

  • back and fill — naut. idi a) navig. to trim the sails of a boat so that the wind strikes them first on the forward and then on the after side b) idi to change one s opinion or position; vacillate …   From formal English to slang

  • To back and fill — Fill Fill, v. i. 1. To become full; to have the whole capacity occupied; to have an abundant supply; to be satiated; as, corn fills well in a warm season; the sail fills with the wind. [1913 Webster] 2. To fill a cup or glass for drinking. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To back and fill — Back Back, v. i. 1. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back. [1913 Webster] 2. (Naut.) To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; used of the wind. [1913 Webster] 3. (Sporting) To stand still… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • back — back1 [bak] n. [ME bak < OE baec; akin to ON bak, OHG bahho] 1. the part of the body opposite to the front; in humans and many other animals, the part to the rear or top reaching from the nape of the neck to the end of the spine 2. the… …   English World dictionary

  • Fill — Fill, v. i. 1. To become full; to have the whole capacity occupied; to have an abundant supply; to be satiated; as, corn fills well in a warm season; the sail fills with the wind. [1913 Webster] 2. To fill a cup or glass for drinking. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — Back, v. i. 1. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back. [1913 Webster] 2. (Naut.) To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; used of the wind. [1913 Webster] 3. (Sporting) To stand still behind… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • back — back1 backless, adj. /bak/, n. 1. the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine. 2. the part of the body of animals corresponding to the human back. 3. the rear portion of any part of the body: the back of …   Universalium

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