• synonyms


  1. a pain, especially in the lumbar region of the back, usually caused by the strain of a muscle or ligament.
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Origin of backache

First recorded in 1595–1605; back1 + ache
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for back-ache

Historical Examples of back-ache

  • How could a back-ache over the pea-bed compensate for these felicities?

    Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature


  • She may soon suffer from, if she does not complain of, back-ache and other attendant troubles, the simple result of weakness.

    The Education of American Girls

    Anna Callender Brackett

  • Back-ache, the reader will allow, would take the poetry out of a honeymoon trip.

    Romantic Spain

    John Augustus O'Shea

  • There was an end of my back-ache when the rod and I could straighten ourselves and leave the men to tail out the fish.

  • All across that lake I ate snow, and that and the back-ache legacy of an old strain are my signs of approaching exhaustion.

British Dictionary definitions for back-ache


  1. an ache or pain in one's back
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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 back-ache


c.1600, from back (n.) + ache (n.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

back-ache in Medicine


  1. Discomfort or a pain in the region of the back or spine.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.