[ bak-werd ]
/ ˈbæk wərd /
adverb Also back·wards.
toward the back or rear.
with the back foremost.
in the reverse of the usual or right way: counting backward from 100.
toward the past: to look backward over one's earlier mistakes.
toward a less advanced state; retrogressively: Since the overthrow of the president the country has moved steadily backward.
directed toward the back or past.
reversed; returning: a backward movement; a backward journey.
behind in time or progress; late; slow: a backward learner; a backward country.
bashful or hesitant; shy: a backward lover.
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backward and forward, thoroughly: He knew his lesson backward and forward.Also backwards and forwards.
Origin of backward
SYNONYMS FOR backward
Related formsback·ward·ly, adverbback·ward·ness, nounun·back·ward, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for backward and forward
/ (ˈbækwəd) /
(usually prenominal) directed towards the reara backward glance
retarded in physical, material, or intellectual developmentbackward countries; a backward child
- of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary
- (in combination)backward-looking
reluctant or bashfula backward lover
chess (of a pawn) behind neighbouring pawns and unable to be supported by them
a variant of backwards
Derived Formsbackwardly, adverbbackwardness, noun
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
Idioms and Phrases with backward and forward (1 of 2)
backward and forward
Also, backwards and forwards.
Same as back and forth.
Thoroughly, completely, as in He read the speech over and over, until he knew it backwards and forwards. [Late 1500s]
Idioms and Phrases with backward and forward (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with backward
- backward and forward
- bend over backward
- fall over (backwards)
- know like a book (backwards and forwards)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.