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backward

backward [bak′wərd]
adv.
[ME bakward, for abakward < abak (< OE on bæc, back) + - ward (< OE - weard, toward)]
1. toward the back or rear; behind
2. with the back or rear foremost
3. in reverse [to spell a word backward]
4. in a way contrary to the normal or usual way
5. toward earlier times; into the past
6. from a better to a worse state
adj.
1. turned or directed toward the rear or in the opposite way
2. hesitant, bashful, or shy, as in meeting people
3. late in developing or growing; retarded; slow
——————
☆ bend over backward or bend over backwards or lean over backward
1. to try to an unusual degree (to please, pacify, etc.)
2. to attempt to compensate, as for one's own bias, tendency, etc., with an extreme effort in the opposite direction
backwardly
adv.
backwardness
n.

English World dictionary. . 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • backward — backward, retrograde, retrogressive, regressive all involve the idea of not moving or going ahead, or forward, or in advance. Only when applied to motion or a movement does backward imply the reverse of forward motion {a backward thrust of a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • backward — backward, backwards 1. For the adverb, both forms are in use, although backward is somewhat more common in AmE and backwards in BrE: • Talk ran backward from the events of the morning A. Munro, CanE 1987 • I walked backward to look at her in the… …   Modern English usage

  • Backward — Back ward, a. 1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances. [1913 Webster] 2. Unwilling; averse; reluctant; hesitating; loath. [1913 Webster] For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves. Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Not well advanced in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, Backwards Back wards, adv. [Back, adv. + ward.] 1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride backward. [1913 Webster] 2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms backward. [1913 Webster] 3. On the back, or with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — [adj1] toward the rear astern, behind, inverted, rearward, regressive, retrograde; concept 581 Ant. ahead, forward, to the front backward [adj2] bashful afraid, averse, demure, diffident, disinclined, hesitant, hesitating, humble, indisposed,… …   New thesaurus

  • backward — (adv.) c.1300, from abakward, from O.E. on bæc (see BACK (Cf. back) (adv.)) + weard adj./adv. suffix (see WARD (Cf. ward)). O.E. had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. Meaning behindhand with regard to progress is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

  • backward — ► ADJECTIVE 1) directed behind or to the rear. 2) having made less progress than is normal or expected. ● not backward in Cf. ↑not backward in DERIVATIVES backwardly adverb backwardness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Backward — Back ward, n. The state behind or past. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] In the dark backward and abysm of time. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, v. t. To keep back; to hinder. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — I adjective arrested, behindhand, belated, dallying, defected, delayed, delaying, dilatory, impeded, late, mentally deficient, overdue, procrastinating, regressive, retarded, retroactive, retrograde, reversed, slow, subnormal, tardy, untimely II… …   Law dictionary

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