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.
Cite This Source Link To backward
Collins
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

backwards or backward (ˈbækwədz)
 
adv
1.  towards the rear
2.  with the back foremost
3.  in the reverse of usual order or direction
4.  to or towards the past
5.  into a worse state: the patient was slipping backwards
6.  towards the point of origin
7.  informal bend over backwards, lean over backwards, fall over backwards to make a special effort, esp in order to please
8.  informal know backwards to understand completely
 
backward or backward
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

backward

In addition to the idiom beginning with backward, also see bend over backward; fall over (backwards); know like a book (backwards and forwards).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Factually, one can slow down time, but the speculation about going backward in
  time is premature.
The rear half of the skull consisted of a bony crest that grew straight
  backward.
Walk around while seeing the world upside down and backward.
Two decades later, the government-bond market is big but backward.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;