back1 [ bæk ] adverb ***
▸ 1 returning to place/state
▸ 2 as reply or reaction
▸ 3 away from the front
▸ 4 away from someone/something
▸ 5 toward beginning of something
▸ 6 in/into the past
▸ 7 in a different place
1. ) returning to a place or position:
I'm never going back home.
Put those CDs back where you found them.
a ) returning to an earlier state or condition:
We're hoping things will be back to normal again soon.
I couldn't get back to sleep.
b ) returning to a previous point in a discussion:
Can we go back to what we were talking about earlier?
2. ) as a reply to someone:
Jane phoned, and I said you'd call her back later.
Do you have any idea where we are? No , Dan shouted back.
a ) doing the same thing to someone as they have done to you:
He punched me, so I punched him back.
look/stare/smile etc. back: Jeff was staring back at me in disbelief.
3. ) in the direction that is behind you:
Don't look back, but there's a man following us.
He asked us to move back a few yards.
a ) in a position where your back is leaning backward:
lean/sit/lie back: She leaned back in her chair.
I'm going to sit back and read the paper for a while.
4. ) away from someone or something, especially because they are dangerous:
Get back he has a gun!
Everybody stand back while I light the fire.
a ) away from an original position or place:
The band started playing as the curtain slowly went back.
b ) away from your face:
Her hair was tied back in a ponytail.
5. ) toward the beginning of something such as a trip or a book:
You should have gotten off three stops back.
Go back a couple of pages.
6. ) used for talking about a period of time in the past:
Back in the 70s, disco music was very popular.
She had a minor operation a few years back.
Things were different back then.
a ) to a period of time in the past:
Think back; don't you remember anything?
b ) to an earlier time on a clock or watch:
set/put the clock back: Don't forget to set the clocks back an hour tonight.
─ opposite FORWARD
7. ) in a place that you have mentioned before, but that is different from the one you have just been talking about:
Back at the hospital, the baby had just been born.
a ) used for talking about a place where you live or work or used to live or work when you are in a different place:
I have no idea what's going on back home.
Back in Missouri, the summers are much hotter than here.
back and forth
moving first in one direction and then in the opposite direction many times:
We ran back and forth, carrying buckets of water.
back 2 [ bæk ] adjective only before noun ***
1. ) farthest from the front:
There's a map on the back page.
the back porch
the back bedroom
2. ) used for describing money that is owed from an earlier date and has not been paid yet:
back pay/taxes/rent
back street/road/alley
a street/road etc. that is away from any main streets
back 4 [ bæk ] verb ***
▸ 1 support someone/something
▸ 2 move backward
▸ 3 bet on someone/something
▸ 4 play/sing music
▸ 5 have something behind it
1. ) transitive to give support to a person, organization, or plan, making them more likely to succeed:
Both main parties are backing these proposals.
back someone on something: We'll back you all the way on this one!
a ) usually passive to make an order or request more effective by threatening to do something if people do not do what you want:
Schools need to have clear rules on bullying, backed by a system of punishments.
2. ) intransitive or transitive back into/onto/out of etc to move backward or make someone move backward:
She backed out of the room carrying a tray.
He backed me into a corner at the party.
a ) to make a car move backward: REVERSE:
Could you just back onto the driveway?
3. ) transitive to BET (=risk money) that a particular person or animal will win a race or competition:
I'm backing France to win the championship.
4. ) transitive often passive to play or sing the music that goes with the main singer or musician's performance:
Manilow was backed by a full orchestra.
5. ) transitive always passive if a place is backed by something, it has something at the back of it or directly behind it:
a large garden backed by trees
back the right/wrong horse
to support someone or something that succeeds/fails
,back a`way phrasal verb intransitive
1. ) to move away backward from someone, for example because you are afraid:
back away from: The photo showed a woman backing away from a man with a gun.
2. ) to gradually become less involved in something:
back away from: The World Bank is backing away from big infrastructure projects.
,back `down phrasal verb intransitive
to stop asking for something, or stop saying that you will do something, because a lot of people oppose you:
Neither side will back down because both believe they are right.
back down on: We will not back down on the decision to strike.
,back `off phrasal verb intransitive
1. ) to move backward in order to get farther away from something:
Everyone back off and let the doctor through.
2. ) to stop criticizing someone or telling them what to do:
Back off, will you? I'll tell you when I'm ready!
`back ,onto phrasal verb transitive
back onto something if a building, yard, etc. backs onto a place, that place is directly behind it:
a field that backs onto the railroad tracks
,back `out phrasal verb intransitive
to decide not to do something you agreed to do:
I promised to help and I'm not backing out now.
back out of: We're hoping that no one will back out of the deal.
,back `up phrasal verb
1. ) transitive back someone up to give support to someone by telling other people that you agree with them:
If I ask for more money will you back me up?
2. ) transitive to show that an explanation or belief is probably true:
All the evidence backs up her story.
3. ) intransitive or transitive to make a copy of information on your computer
4. ) intransitive or transitive if traffic backs up, or is backed up, the vehicles are in a long line and waiting to continue moving:
Cars were backed up for miles.
Traffic is backing up on all routes out of town.
a ) if a toilet, SINK, or DRAIN backs up, or is backed up, water cannot flow through it because something is blocking it
b ) if a system backs up, or is backed up, it has slowed down or stopped working because there is too much of something for it to deal with:
Orders are really backed up this month.
5. ) intransitive to move backward a short distance:
I need everyone to back up about 10 steps.
6. ) intransitive or transitive to make a car go backward:
See if you can back up a little farther.
back something up something: I'll back the car up the driveway.
7. ) intransitive AMERICAN used for telling someone to return to something that was said earlier:
Back up: didn't you say they had already met?

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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