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backward

[bak-werd] /ˈbæk wərd/
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
1250-1300; Middle English bakwarde. See back1, -ward
Related forms
backwardly, adverb
backwardness, noun
unbackward, adjective
Synonyms
8. tardy; retarded, underdeveloped. 9. disinclined; timid, retiring.
Antonyms
1. forward.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for backwards
  • There is no such thing as evolving in reverse or backwards.
  • It has short legs that, in the rear, point backwards to help it dig.
  • If the other player catches it successfully, the partners each take another step backwards.
  • They hover often, and also fly upside down and backwards.
  • They move in short spurts by closing their mantle quickly, ejecting water and jet-propelling themselves backwards.
  • The oar goes in the water and scoops fluid backwards.
  • He says a lot of people get it backwards because they don't realize what dogs really need.
  • Create a backwards web by drawing a line from each word back to an empty square in the middle.
  • But, when it comes to their dog, they do everything backwards.
  • Duct taped this backwards toward sole of boot for a few days.
British Dictionary definitions for backwards

backwards

/ˈbækwədz/
adverb
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

/ˈbækwəd/
adjective
1.
(usually prenominal) directed towards the rear: a backward glance
2.
retarded in physical, material, or intellectual development: backward countries, a backward child
3.
  1. of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary
  2. (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
adverb
6.
a variant of backwards
Derived Forms
backwardly, adverb
backwardness, noun
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 backwards
adv.

1510s, from backward with adverbial genitive. Figurative phrase bend over backwards is recorded from 1901.

backward

adv.

c.1300, from abakward, from Old English on bæc (see back (adv.)) + -weard adjectival and adverbial suffix (see -ward). Old English had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. 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. Another Middle English word for "backward, wrongly" was arseward (c.1400).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with backwards

backward

In addition to the idiom beginning with
backward
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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21
23
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