Online Dictionary

backwards Explained

backwards at CMU American English spelling Of Explained:


backwards at English => English (Longman) Of Explained:

S2 AmE
1 in the direction that is behind you: → forwards// --Hannah took a step backward.// --She pushed me and I fell backwards into the chair.//
2 towards the beginning or the past: → forwards// --Count backwards from 100.//
3 with the back part in front: --Your T-shirt is on backwards.//
4 towards a worse state: → forwards// --The new measures are seen by some as a major step backwards.//
5 backwards and forwards: first in one direction and then in the opposite direction, usually many times// --Kip stumbled backwards and forwards before falling down.//
6 bend/lean over backwards (to do sth): to try as hard as possible to help or please someone// --City officials bent over backwards to help downtown businesses.//
7 know sth backwards: BrE know sth backwards and forwards// AmE to know something very well or perfectly// --She practiced her part until she knew it backwards and forwards.//

Backwards at English => English (Websters 1913) Of Explained:

Backward \Back"ward\, Backwards \Back"wards\, adv. [Back, adv. +
1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride

2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms

3. On the back, or with the back downward.

Thou wilt fall backward. --Shak.

4. Toward, or in, past time or events; ago.

Some reigns backward. --Locke.

5. By way of reflection; reflexively. --Sir J. Davies.

6. From a better to a worse state, as from honor to shame,
from religion to sin.

The work went backward. --Dryden.

7. In a contrary or reverse manner, way, or direction;
contrarily; as, to read backwards.

We might have . . . beat them backward home. --Shak.

backwards at English => English (WordNet) Of Explained:

adv 1: at or to or toward the back or rear; "he moved back";
"tripped when he stepped backward"; "she looked
rearward out the window of the car" [syn: {back}, {backward},
{rearward}, {rearwards}] [ant: {forward}]
2: in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normal;
"it's easy to get the `i' and the `e' backward in words
like `seize' and `siege'"; "the child put her jersey on
backward" [syn: {backward}]

backwards at English (WD) Of Explained:


Alternative forms

* backward


Inter: suffix » backward|s. See Inter: term » -s#Etymology 3|-s Inter: qualifier » Etymology 3


* Inter: IPA » /ˈbæk.wə(ɹ)dz/


Inter: en-ad » j
  • Oriented toward the back.
    1. : The battleship had three backwards guns at the stern, in addition to the primary complement.
    2. Reversed.
    3. : The backwards lettering on emergency vehicles makes it possible to read in the rear-view mirror.
    4. Inter: derogator » y Behind current trends or technology.
    5. : Modern medicine regards the use of leeches as a backwards practice.
    6. Clumsy, inept, or inefficient.
    7. : He was a very backwards scholar, but he was a marvel on the football field.

      Usage notes

      * In senses 3 and 4, and generally in American English, backward is preferred.


      * Inter: sense » oriented toward the back

  • Inter: sense » reversed mirror image, switched, back to front
  • Inter: sense » behind current trends or technology crude, dated, obsolete, primitive
  • Inter: sense » clumsy, inept, or inefficient awkward, fumbling, incompetent, poor


    Inter: trans-top » oriented toward the back
  • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|tahapoole, Inter: t- » et|tagasisuunas
  • Finnish: taaksepäin suunnattu
  • Greek: Inter: t- » el|προς τα πίσω|sc=Grek
  • Italian: Inter: t+ » it|indietro

  • Inter: trans-mi » d
    • Russian: Inter: t+ » ru|направленныйInter: t+ » ru|назад, Inter: t+ » ru|смотрящийInter: t+ » ru|назад
    • Spanish: Inter: t+ » es|a contrapelo, Inter: t- » es|hacia atrás
    • Swedish: Inter: t- » sv|bakåtriktad

    Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » reversed
    • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|peegelpilt
    • Finnish: peilikuva-
    • Greek: Inter: t- » el|επαναφορά επιστροφή|sc=Grek
    • Kurdish:
    • : Sorani: Inter: ku-Arab » پاشه‌وپاش

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • Spanish: Inter: t- » es|invertido
  • Swedish: Inter: t- » sv|bakvänd, Inter: t+ » sv|omvänd

  • Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » behind current trends
    • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|vanamoodne
    • Finnish: Inter: t+ » fi|vanhanaikainen
    • Kurdish:
    • : Sorani: Inter: ku-Arab » دواکه‌وتو

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • Swedish: Inter: t+ » sv|efter, Inter: t- » sv|efterbliven

  • Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » clumsy or inefficient
    • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|saamatu

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • Finnish: Inter: t+ » fi|kelvoton

  • Inter: trans-botto » m


    Inter: en-ad » v
  • Toward the back.
    1. : The cabinet toppled over backwards.
    2. : Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.—Søren Kierkegaard
    3. In the opposite direction of usual.
    4. : The clock did not work because the battery was inserted backwards.
    5. In a manner such that the back precedes the front.
    6. : The tour guide walked backwards while droning on to the bored seniors.

      Usage notes

      * In written American English, backward is usually preferred.

  • Strictly, backwards is used as an adverb and backward is used as an adjective in British English, and often the rule is reversed in American English. This follows the same usage for similar words ending in -ward/-wards and -way/-ways. See also -wise.
    • : It was a backward move vs He moved backwards

  • Also, even though an adverb may be used in adjectival combinations (eg a quickly moving car), only the -ward forms are commonly used in adjectival combinations: eg
  • : A backward-facing statue / A backward facing statue.


    * Inter: sense » toward the back hindwards, rearward, retrograde
  • Inter: sense » in the opposite direction of usual contrariwise, reversedly
  • Inter: sense » so that the back precedes the front back to front, in reverse

    Derived terms

    * backwards and forwards


    Inter: trans-top » toward the back
  • Dutch: Inter: t+ » nl|achterwaarts
  • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|tahapoole
  • Finnish: Inter: t- » fi|taaksepäin
  • German: Inter: t+ » de|rückwärts

  • Inter: trans-mi » d
    • Kurdish:
    • : Sorani: Inter: ku-Arab » به‌ره‌ودوا
    • Spanish: Inter: t- » es|hacia atrás
    • Swedish: Inter: t+ » sv|baklänges

    Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » in the opposite direction of usual
    • Czech: Inter: t- » cs|pozpátku
    • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|tagurpidi
    • Finnish: takaperin, väärinpäin
    • Inter: trreq » Georgian

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • German: Inter: t+ » de|rückwärts
  • Kurdish:
  • : Sorani: Inter: ku-Arab » به‌ره‌ودوا
  • Swedish: Inter: t- » sv|bakvänd

  • Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: trans-top » with back preceding the front
    • Estonian: Inter: t- » et|tagurpidi
    • Finnish: takaperin, perä edellä, selkä edellä
    • Inter: trreq » Georgian

    Inter: trans-mi » d
  • German: Inter: t+ » de|rückwärts
  • Swedish: Inter: t+ » sv|baklänges

  • Inter: trans-botto » m
    Inter: checktrans-to » p
    • Inter: ttbc » ca: quedar desconcertat; àbac

    Inter: trans-botto » m


    * drawbacks
    Translation: et » backwards
    Translation: fr » backwards
    Translation: ko » backwards
    Translation: io » backwards
    Translation: kn » backwards
    Translation: hu » backwards
    Translation: ml » backwards
    Translation: my » backwards
    Translation: nl » backwards
    Translation: pl » backwards
    Translation: ru » backwards
    Category: simple:backwards -
    Translation: fi » backwards
    Translation: ta » backwards
    Translation: te » backwards
    Translation: th » backwards
    Translation: vi » backwards
    Translation: zh » backwards