Definition of backwards adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbækwədz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbækwərdz//
    (also backward especially in North American English)
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  1. 1  towards a place or position that is behind I lost my balance and fell backwards. He took a step backwards. opposite forward
  2. 2  in the opposite direction to the usual one ‘Ambulance’ is written backwards so you can read it in the mirror. In the movie they take a journey backwards through time.
  3. 3  towards a worse state I felt that going to live with my parents would be a step backwards. opposite forward
  4. 4  (North American English) (British English back to front) if you put on a piece of clothing backwards, you make a mistake and put the back where the front should be
  5. Idioms
    backward(s) and forward(s)
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     from one place or position to another and back again many times She rocked backwards and forwards on her chair.
    bend/lean over backwards (to do something)
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    to make a great effort, especially in order to be helpful or fair I've bent over backwards to help him.
    know somebody/something backwards
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    (informal, especially British English) to know somebody/something extremely well She must know the play backwards by now.