backwater

[ bak-waw-ter, -wot-er ]
/ ˈbækˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər /

noun

water held or forced back, as by a dam, flood, or tide.
a place or state of stagnant backwardness: This area of the country is a backwater that continues to resist progress.
an isolated, peaceful place.
a stroke executed by pushing a paddle forward, causing a canoe to move backward.

Origin of backwater

1350–1400; Middle English bakwateres; see back2, water
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for backwater

British Dictionary definitions for backwater

backwater

/ (ˈbækˌwɔːtə) /

noun

a body of stagnant water connected to a river
water held or driven back, as by a dam, flood, or tide
an isolated, backward, or intellectually stagnant place or condition

verb back water

(intr) to reverse the direction of a boat, esp to push the oars of a rowing boat
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 backwater

backwater


n.

late 14c., "water behind a dam," from back (adj.) + water (n.). Hence flat water without a current near a flowing river, as in a mill race (1820); figurative use of this for any flat, dull place is from 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper