I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English bæc; akin to Old High German bah back, Old Norse bak Date: before 12th century 1. a. (1) the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine (2) the body considered as the wearer of clothes (3) capacity for labor, effort, or endurance (4) the back considered as the seat of one's awareness of duty or failings <
get off my back
(5) the back considered as an area of vulnerability <
the police officer's partner always watches his back
b. the part of a lower animal (as a quadruped) corresponding to the human back c. spinal column d. spine 1c 2. a. the side or surface opposite the front or face ; the rear part; also the farther or reverse side b. something at or on the back for support <
back of a chair
c. a place away from the front <
sat in back
3. a position in some games (as football or soccer) behind the front line of players; also a player in this position • backed adjectivebackless adjective II. adverb Date: 14th century 1. a. to, toward, or at the rear b. in or into the past ; backward in time; also ago c. to or at an angle off the vertical d. (1) under restraint (2) in a delayed or retarded condition 2. a. to, toward, or in a place from which a person or thing came b. to or toward a former state c. in return or reply III. adjective Date: 15th century 1. a. being at or in the back <
back door
b. distant from a central or main area <
back roads
c. articulated at or toward the back of the oral passage <
back vowels
2. having returned or been returned 3. being in arrears ; overdue 4. moving or operating backward ; reverse 5. not current <
back issues of a magazine
6. constituting the final 9 holes of an 18-hole golf course IV. verb Date: 1548 transitive verb 1. a. to support by material or moral assistance — often used with up b. substantiate c. to assume financial responsibility for d. to provide musical accompaniment for — often used with up 2. a. to cause to go back or in reverse b. to articulate (a sound) with the tongue farther back 3. a. to furnish with a back b. to be at the back of intransitive verb 1. to move backward — often used with up 2. of the wind to shift counterclockwise — compare veer 3. to have the back in the direction of something Synonyms: see support, recedebacker noun

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • back — back …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • 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

  • back — ► NOUN 1) the rear surface of the human body from the shoulders to the hips. 2) the corresponding upper surface of an animal s body. 3) the side or part of something away from the viewer. 4) the side or part of an object that is not normally seen …   English terms dictionary

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — (b[a^]k), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Backed} (b[a^]kt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Backing}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To get upon the back of; to mount. [1913 Webster] I will back him [a horse] straight. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To place or seat upon the back. [R.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — eines kleineren Schiffes Back eines Massengutfrachters Back ist ein s …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Back — Back, adv. [Shortened from aback.] 1. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back. [1913 Webster] 2. To the place from which one came; to the place or person from which something is taken or derived; as, to go back for something… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Back — Back, a. 1. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements. [1913 Webster] 2. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent. [1913 Webster] 3. Moving or operating backward; as, back action. [1913 Webster] {Back… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • back — [bæk] verb [transitive] 1. to support someone or something, especially by giving money or using your influence: • The board backed Mr Standley, who plans to cut costs. • Shareholders have backed a plan to build a second plant. 2. FINANCE if …   Financial and business terms

  • back — adj 1: being overdue or in arrears back rent 2: being retroactive esp. as compensation reinstated with back pay Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • back — A use that is chiefly AmE but familiar in the UK and likely to become BrE eventually is back of, meaning ‘behind, in the back of’ • (His computer…locates a spare space back of the plane Keyboard Player, 1986). But in back and in back of are… …   Modern English usage

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