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Definition of Back


  1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot glue, etc.
  2. A ferryboat. See Bac, 1.
  3. 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.
  4. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.
  9. A support or resource in reserve.
  10. The keel and keelson of a ship.
  11. The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage.
  12. A garment for the back; hence, clothing.
  13. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements.
  14. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent.
  15. Moving or operating backward; as, back action.
  16. To get upon the back of; to mount.
  17. To place or seat upon the back.
  18. To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.
  19. To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back books.
  20. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
  21. To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.
  22. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or influence; as, to back a friend.
  23. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.
  24. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.
  25. To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.
  26. To stand still behind another dog which has pointed; -- said of a dog.
  27. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back.
  28. 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 left behind; to go back to one's native place; to put a book back after reading it.
  29. To a former state, condition, or station; as, to go back to private life; to go back to barbarism.
  30. (Of time) In times past; ago.
  31. Away from contact; by reverse movement.
  32. In concealment or reserve; in one's own possession; as, to keep back the truth; to keep back part of the money due to another.
  33. In a state of restraint or hindrance.
  34. In return, repayment, or requital.
  35. In withdrawal from a statement, promise, or undertaking; as, he took back0 the offensive words.
  36. In arrear; as, to be back in one's rent.

Back Quotations

It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.
Caroline Kennedy

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!
Charles Dickens

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us - a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.
David Cameron

The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back.
Bryant H. McGill
More "Back" Quotations

Back Translations

back in Afrikaans is terug, rug
back in Danish is ryg, tilbage
back in Dutch is achterzijde, rugstuk, ommezijde
back in Italian is dosso, addietro, suolo
back in Latin is rursus, tergum
back in Norwegian is tilbake, rygg
back in Portuguese is dorso, parte traseira
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