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backlash

[bak-lash] /ˈbækˌlæʃ/
noun
1.
a sudden, forceful backward movement; recoil.
2.
a strong or violent reaction, as to some social or political change:
a backlash of angry feeling among Southern conservatives within the party.
3.
Machinery.
  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.
4.
Angling. a snarled line on a reel, usually caused by a faulty cast.
verb (used without object)
5.
to make or undergo a backlash.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; back2 + lash1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for backlashes

backlash

/ˈbækˌlæʃ/
noun
1.
a reaction or recoil between interacting worn or badly fitting parts in a mechanism
2.
the play between parts
3.
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 backlashes

backlash

n.

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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