1) anat. zool. the rear part of the human body, from the neck to the end of the spine
2) anat. 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 the head[/ex]
4) the part opposite to or farthest from the front; rear:
the back of a hall[/ex]
5) the part that forms the rear of any object or structure
6) the part covering the back:
the back of a jacket[/ex]
7) the spine or backbone:
The fall broke his back[/ex]
8) any rear part of an object serving to support, protect, etc.:
the back of a chair[/ex]
9) the side of an object that is less functional, less often seen, etc.:
the back of an envelope[/ex]
10) the whole body, with reference to clothing:
the clothes on one's back[/ex]
11) ability for labor; effort; endurance:
to put one's back to a task[/ex]
12) pri the edge of a book formed where its sections are bound together
13) spo (in various sports, as football)
a) a player stationed to the rear of front-line play
b) the position so occupied
14) to support, as with authority, influence, help, or money:
to back a candidate[/ex]
15) to bet on:
to back a horse in the race[/ex]
16) to cause to move backward (often fol. by up):
to back a car into a garage[/ex]
17) to furnish with a back:
to back a book[/ex]
18) to lie at the back of; form a back or background for
19) to provide with an accompaniment:
a singer backed by piano and bass[/ex]
20) to get upon the back of; mount
21) to write or print on the back of; endorse; countersign
22) to go or move backward (often fol. by up)
23) naut. (of wind) to change direction counterclockwise
(opposed to veer).
24) phv back away, to retreat; withdraw
25) phv back down, to abandon an argument or position
26) phv back off
a) to move back from something; retreat
b) to back down
27) phv back out, to fail to keep an engagement or promise; withdraw
28) phv back up
a) to move or cause to move backward
b) to reinforce
c) to support or confirm
d) to bring (a stream of traffic) to a standstill
e) to accumulate or become clogged due to a stoppage
f) phv cmp to copy (a computer file or program) as a precaution against failure
29) situated at or in the rear:
the back door[/ex]
30) far away or removed from the front or main area, position, or rank; remote:
back streets[/ex]
31) of or belonging to the past:
back issues of a magazine[/ex]
32) in arrears; overdue:
back pay[/ex]
33) coming or going back; moving backward:
back current[/ex]
34) phn (of a speech sound) articulated with the tongue in the back part of the mouth, as either of the sounds of
Etymology: bef. 1000; ME bak, OE bæc back of the body, c. OFris bek, OON bak; perh. < IE *bhogo- bending; cf. bacon back′less, adj. syn: back, hind, posterior, rear refer to something situated behind something else. back means the opposite of front: a back window. hind, and the more formal word posterior, refer to the rearmost of two or more, often similar objects: hind wings; posterior lobe. rear is used of buildings, conveyances, etc., and in military language it is the opposite of fore: the rear end of a truck; rear echelon. usage: Although some object to their use, the phrases in back of and the shorter—and much older— back of with the meaning “behind” are fully established as standard in American English: They played (in) back of the house. Both phrases occur in all types of speech and writing, though behind may be easily substituted if desired. II
[[t]bæk[/t]] adv.
1) at, to, or toward the rear; backward:
to step back[/ex]
2) in or toward the past:
to look back on one's youth[/ex]
3) at or toward the original starting point, place, or condition:
to go back to one's home town; to put a coat back on[/ex]
4) in direct payment or return:
to pay back a loan; to answer back[/ex]
5) in a state of restraint or retention:
to hold back tears; to hold back salary[/ex]
6) in a reclining position:
to lean back; to lie back[/ex]
7) phv go back on
a) to fail to keep; renege on:
to go back on a promise[/ex]
b) to be faithless to; betray
Etymology: 1480–90; aph. form of aback

From formal English to slang. 2014.

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