backward and forward

backward

[bak-werd]
adverb Also, backwards.
1.
toward the back or rear.
2.
with the back foremost.
3.
in the reverse of the usual or right way: counting backward from 100.
4.
toward the past: to look backward over one's earlier mistakes.
5.
toward a less advanced state; retrogressively: Since the overthrow of the president the country has moved steadily backward.
adjective
6.
directed toward the back or past.
7.
reversed; returning: a backward movement; a backward journey.
8.
behind in time or progress; late; slow: a backward learner; a backward country.
9.
bashful or hesitant; shy: a backward lover.
Idioms
10.
backward and forward, thoroughly: He knew his lesson backward and forward. Also, backwards and forwards.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English bakwarde. See back1, -ward

backwardly, adverb
backwardness, noun
unbackward, adjective


8. tardy; retarded, underdeveloped. 9. disinclined; timid, retiring.


1. forward.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
backward (ˈbækwəd)
 
adj
1.  (usually prenominal) directed towards the rear: a backward glance
2.  retarded in physical, material, or intellectual development: backward countries; a backward child
3.  a.  of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary
 b.  (in combination): backward-looking
4.  reluctant or bashful: a backward lover
5.  chess (of a pawn) behind neighbouring pawns and unable to be supported by them
 
adv
6.  a variant of backwards
 
'backwardly
 
adv
 
'backwardness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

backward
c.1300, from abakward, from O.E. on bæc + -weard adj./adv. suffix. Backwards, with adverbial genitive, is from 1510s. Meaning "behindhand with regard to progress" is first attested 1690s. To ring bells backward (from lowest to highest), c.1500, was a signal of alarm for fire or invasion, or to
express dismay.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

backward and forward

Also, backwards and forwards.

  1. Same as back and forth.

  2. Thoroughly, completely, as in He read the speech over and over, until he knew it backwards and forwards. [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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