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[bak-drop] /ˈbækˌdrɒp/
Also called, especially British, back-cloth. Theater. the rear curtain of a stage setting.
the background of an event; setting.
Gymnastics. a maneuver in which a trampolinist jumps in the air, lands on the back with the arms and legs pointed upward, and then springs up to a standing position.
verb (used with object), backdropped or backdropt, backdropping.
to provide a setting or background for:
A vast mountain range backdrops the broad expanse of lake.
Origin of backdrop
An Americanism dating back to 1910-15; back1 + drop Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for backdrop
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A low line of hills loomed beyond, painted of silver gray against the backdrop of starry sky and the pallor of moon mists.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • The green-sloped, snow-capped Bernardinoes form a backdrop for the desert underneath.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • Eyes the size of Navy dirigibles, with pupils of deep cerulean blue, floating against the backdrop of the gray cumulus.

    Get Out of Our Skies! E. K. Jarvis
  • He recognized a backdrop he had seen thousands of times behind the announcer who introduced the news-casts.

    Plague Ship Andre Norton
  • She was raised for the most-part in Maine, which forms a backdrop to much of her fiction.

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
British Dictionary definitions for backdrop


another name for backcloth
the background to any scene or situation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for backdrop

1913, in U.S. theatrical argot, from back (adj.) + drop (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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