adverb Also back·wards.
Origin of backward
Examples from the Web for backwardness
To some, this will look like progress, a move away from the backwardness of rural life.
It gives you the sense of the forwardness of history as well as the backwardness.Archbishop Pitches on Youtube For More Souls As He Prepares To Christen George|Tom Sykes|October 22, 2013|DAILY BEAST
A palpable desolation—and the feeling of what the Chinese call luohou, or backwardness—hangs in the air.Ghosts in the Machine: The Story of China’s Rural Migrants and Their Uncertain Future|Ross Perlin|December 10, 2012|DAILY BEAST
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.The Bandolero|Mayne Reid
She is in apprehension of an amourousness which I despair of displaying; I am ashamed of a backwardness which is her only comfort.The King's Mirror|Anthony Hope
The backwardness of the Factory Act in these and some other matters is almost inconceivable.Women in Modern Industry|B. L. Hutchins
To this may be ascribed in great measure the extreme poverty and backwardness of many of those provinces at the present day.Buenos Ayres and the Provinces of the Rio de La Plata|Woodbine Parish
But there are other factors which also contribute to the backwardness of domestic engineering.Household Administration|Various
British Dictionary definitions for backwardness
- of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary
- (in combination)backward-looking
Word Origin and History for backwardness (1 of 2)
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).
Idioms and Phrases with backwardness
In addition to the idiom beginning with backward
- backward and forward
- bend over backward
- fall over (backwards)
- know like a book (backwards and forwards)