Definition of behind preposition from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bɪˈhaɪnd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bɪˈhaɪnd//
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  1. 1  at or towards the back of somebody/something, and often hidden by it or them Who's the girl standing behind Jan? Stay close behind me. a small street behind the station She glanced behind her. Don't forget to lock the door behind you (= when you leave). The sun disappeared behind the clouds. Which Word?at the back / at the rear / behind At the back and at the rear have a similar meaning, but at the rear is used more in formal or official language: What’s that at the back of the fridge?Smoking is only allowed at the rear of the aircraft. It is more usual to talk about the back door of a house but the rear exit of an aircraft or public building. If something is behind something else it is near to the back of it but not part of it. Compare: Our room was at the back of the hotel and There’s a lovely wood just behind our hotel. compare in front of
  2. 2  making less progress than somebody/something He's behind the rest of the class in reading. We're behind schedule (= late).
  3. 3  giving support to or approval of somebody/something She knew that, whatever she decided, her family was right behind her.
  4. 4responsible for starting or developing something What's behind that happy smile (= what is causing it)? He was the man behind the plan to build a new hospital.
  5. 5used to say that something is in somebody’s past The accident is behind you now, so try to forget it. She has ten years' useful experience behind her.
  6. Word OriginOld English behindan, bihindan, from bi ‘by’ + hindan ‘from behind’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: behind