- a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil.
- a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change: a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.
- the space between the thickness of a gear tooth and the width of the space between teeth in the mating gear, designed to allow for a film of lubricant, binding from heat expansion and eccentricity, or manufacturing inaccuracies.
- play or lost motion between loosely fitting machine parts.
- Angling. a snarled line on a reel, usually caused by a faulty cast.
- to make or undergo a backlash.
Origin of backlash
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backlash
The backlash from female voters was felt immediately in the polls.What Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff Can Teach Hillary Clinton
October 29, 2014
Have you seen any kind of backlash like that with So You Think You Can Dance?Nigel Lythgoe on How to Save Reality TV, ‘On the Town,’ and ‘Brokeback Ballroom’
October 22, 2014
Many of these individuals may fear a backlash, given the controversial causes that they support.The $1-Billion-a-Year Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven’t Heard Of
September 25, 2014
The backlash brought about the discovery that out of 20 culture editors, the Times has no blacks and only one POC.‘black-ish’ Keeps It Real about the Invisible Black Man
September 24, 2014
The backlash and bad publicity from the escape is much more than the warden ever wanted, but he will have to deal with it.How To Plan A Jailbreak
September 13, 2014
But he was sure of its source; it had not been any backlash of the Red caller!The Defiant Agents
Andre Alice Norton
The backlash of that blast must have caught the majority of the lights also.Star Hunter
Andre Alice Norton
Extrapolating Russian history, it would be reasonable to expect a backlash in the form of a counterrevolution.
As these unpleasant truths emerge, the bitterness, resentment and disillusionment will grow and a backlash will develop.
- a reaction or recoil between interacting worn or badly fitting parts in a mechanism
- the play between parts
- a sudden and adverse reaction, esp to a political or social developmenta public backlash against the government is inevitable
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
Word Origin and History for backlash
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper