View synonyms for backdrop


[ bak-drop ]


  1. alsocalledcomma especially British, back-cloth [bak, -klawth, -kloth] . Theater. the rear curtain of a stage setting.
  2. the background of an event; setting.
  3. 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)

, back·dropped or back·dropt, back·drop·ping.
  1. to provide a setting or background for:

    A vast mountain range backdrops the broad expanse of lake.


/ ˈbækˌdrɒp /


  1. another name for backcloth
  2. the background to any scene or situation

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Word History and Origins

Origin of backdrop1

An Americanism dating back to 1910–15; back 1 + drop

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Example Sentences

This year, against a backdrop of unprecedented global upheaval, OZY is partnering with the data and technology firm 0ptimus to build a better way to forecast the 2020 presidential vote.

From Ozy

It comes against a backdrop of pandemic and protest that will no doubt affect the season beyond the league simply emptying the stands and conceding a few words of support.

The earth — at least the part of it that is California — was no longer a backdrop for our actions, the set of our play.

That’s the surprisingly realistic science backdrop of Biohackers, but that’s where it stays.

This years-long back-and-forth, against the economic backdrop of traditional news media decline, has helped evolve Google’s position.

Against this backdrop, Paul breaking bread with Sharpton may be too much for Republican primary voters to watch or stomach.

At times, it reads as if he is describing the backdrop of a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

What prompted you to pick the fall of the Berlin Wall as the backdrop for your thriller?

All of this is playing out against a backdrop of ferocious political rivalries and discord in the capital of Sanaa.

Harris will shoot short video clips of each pledge using a “Luvvy” canvas as a backdrop.

The painted backdrop on the wall of the theatre was still visible prior to restoration and the simple mural was to be restored.

Buildings strewn like a careless giant's toys formed a vague and monstrous backdrop.

He recognized a backdrop he had seen thousands of times behind the announcer who introduced the news-casts.

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

Nothing there but the familiar starry backdrop, the moon far down to the left.


Related Words

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More About Backdrop

What does backdrop mean?

Backdrop refers to the background or setting of a situation or event.

It can refer to something physically located in the background of something else, such as a backdrop used for a photo shoot. It can also be used figuratively to refer to circumstances that surround an event, as in a backdrop of scandal and accusations of fraud. 

More specifically, a backdrop is the curtain that hangs at the back of the stage in a theater, as in We have to fix the rips in the backdrop before the big show. 

Less commonly, backdrop can also be used as a verb to mean providing a background for something, as in The towering trees backdropped the outdoor photo shoot. 

Example: The film took place against the backdrop of World War II and featured major events from the war.

Where does backdrop come from?

The first records of the word backdrop come from the early 1910s. It was first used in the U.S. It’s simply a combination of back, meaning “the rear part,” and drop, referring to something that falls or hangs vertically—like the back curtain of a stage.

While many theater backdrops are plain black or red, they can also be painted or printed with a scene that relates to the show being staged. In everyday use, backdrop is often used figuratively to refer to the conditions or circumstances that surround an event to provide context. In other words, the backdrop of an even consists of the things happening in the background (and the word background can be used as a synonym of this sense of backdrop).

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for backdrop?

What are some words that share a root or word element with backdrop

What are some words that often get used in discussing backdrop?

How is backdrop used in real life?

Backdrop is commonly used to refer figuratively to the background or context of a situation.



Try using backdrop!

Is backdrop used correctly in the following sentence?

The self-portrait depicted the artist posing in front of a backdrop of a lush garden.

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