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[bak-drop] /ˈbækˌdrɒp/
Also called, especially British, back-cloth. Theater. the rear curtain of a stage setting.
the background of an event; setting.
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), backdropped or backdropt, backdropping.
to provide a setting or background for:
A vast mountain range backdrops the broad expanse of lake.
Origin of backdrop
1910-15, Americanism; back1 + drop Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for backdrop
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A low line of hills loomed beyond, painted of silver gray against the backdrop of starry sky and the pallor of moon mists.

    The Tyranny of Weakness Charles Neville Buck
  • He recognized a backdrop he had seen thousands of times behind the announcer who introduced the news-casts.

    Plague Ship Andre Norton
  • The green-sloped, snow-capped Bernardinoes form a backdrop for the desert underneath.

    Test Pilot David Goodger (
  • She was raised for the most-part in Maine, which forms a backdrop to much of her fiction.

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Eyes the size of Navy dirigibles, with pupils of deep cerulean blue, floating against the backdrop of the gray cumulus.

    Get Out of Our Skies! E. K. Jarvis
British Dictionary definitions for backdrop


another name for backcloth
the background to any scene or situation
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
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Word Origin and History for backdrop

1913, in U.S. theatrical argot, from back (adj.) + drop (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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