Definition of backward adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbækwəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbækwərd//
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  1. 1  [only before noun] directed or moving towards the back She strode past him without a backward glance.
  2. 2  moving in a direction that means that no progress is being made synonym retrograde She felt that going back to live in her home town would be a backward step.
  3. 3having made less progress than normal; developing slowly a backward part of the country, with no paved roads and no electricity a backward child (British English, informal) She's not backward in coming forward (= she's not shy).
  4. compare forward
    Word OriginMiddle English: from earlier abackward, from aback.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: backward