"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bak-lash] /ˈbækˌlæʃ/
a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil.
a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change:
a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.
  1. the space between the thickness of a gear tooth and the width of the space between teeth in the mating gear, designed to allow for a film of lubricant, binding from heat expansion and eccentricity, or manufacturing inaccuracies.
  2. play or lost motion between loosely fitting machine parts.
Angling. a snarled line on a reel, usually caused by a faulty cast.
verb (used without object)
to make or undergo a backlash.
Origin of backlash
1805-15; back2 + lash1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for backlash
  • In many instances today, there is a negative backlash against the faculty.
  • Unless a solution is found to sluggish real wages and rising inequality, there is a serious risk of a protectionist backlash.
  • Some native groups fear the repercussions of a renewed backlash against the harp seal harvest.
  • Other researchers worry that this casual approach to disclosure could create a backlash against the technology.
  • Two, a great many of us are at risk for the backlash by the ignorant.
  • Though subtle, it seems that the church phenomenon is backlash to globalization.
  • Students, plagiarizers and non-plagiarizers alike, have already begun to feel the backlash.
  • Hopefully a backlash against tenure will not sweep away reasonable forms of job security and academic freedom.
  • The charm offensive may not be enough to quell the backlash.
  • Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.
British Dictionary definitions for backlash


a reaction or recoil between interacting worn or badly fitting parts in a mechanism
the play between parts
a sudden and adverse reaction, esp to a political or social development: a public backlash against the government is inevitable
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 backlash

1815, of machinery, from back (adj.) + lash (n.). In metaphoric sense, it is attested from 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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