A palpable desolation—and the feeling of what the Chinese call luohou, or backwardness—hangs in the air.
It gives you the sense of the forwardness of history as well as the backwardness.
To some, this will look like progress, a move away from the backwardness of rural life.
But the true secret of their backwardness was to be sought for in the six-shooters, one of which I now held in each hand.
No latsummes (backwardness, reluctance) was in him when once fully set.
The one thing to criticize is the backwardness of the lives of the good folk of the isle and their enormous pieds plats.
He scarcely shares my hopes, but he shows no signs of backwardness.
The prudent hesitation and backwardness of Holland had at last yielded to the pressure of England.
But we must recognize that their backwardness is not wholly due to prejudice.
Though it is confessed, that there is more of the Spirit, where there is no backwardness or resistance, or need of forcing.
c.1300, from abakward, from Old English on bæc (see back (adv.)) + -weard adjectival and adverbial suffix (see -ward). Old English had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. Meaning "behindhand with regard to progress" is first attested 1690s. To ring bells backward (from lowest to highest), c.1500, was a signal of alarm for fire or invasion, or to express dismay. Another Middle English word for "backward, wrongly" was arseward (c.1400).