Definition of back verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bæk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bæk//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they back
    BrE BrE//bæk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bæk//
    he / she / it backs
    BrE BrE//bæks//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bæks//
    past simple backed
    BrE BrE//bækt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bækt//
    past participle backed
    BrE BrE//bækt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bækt//
    -ing form backing
    BrE BrE//ˈbækɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbækɪŋ//
    Equine sports
    jump to other results
    move backwards
  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to move or make something move backwards + adv./prep. He backed against the wall, terrified. to back out of a parking space back something + adv./prep. If you can't drive in forwards, try backing it in. compare reverse
  2. support
  3. 2  [transitive] back somebody/something to give help or support to somebody/something Her parents backed her in her choice of career. Doctors have backed plans to raise the tax on cigarettes. The programme of economic reform is backed (= given financial support) by foreign aid. a United Nations-backed peace plan
  4. bet money
  5. 3[transitive] back something to bet money on a horse in a race, a team in a competition, etc. I backed the winner and won fifty pounds. See related entries: Equine sports
  6. music
  7. 4[transitive] back something to play or sing music that supports the main singer or instrument see also backing
  8. cover back
  9. 5[transitive] back something (with something) [usually passive] to cover the back of something in order to support or protect it
  10. be behind
  11. 6[transitive, usually passive] back something to be located behind something The house is backed by fields.
  12. Word OriginOld English bæc, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch and Old Norse bak. The adverb use dates from late Middle English and is a shortening of aback.Extra examples Can you back your car up so that I can get through? He backed out of the drive. He took a step forward and she nervously backed away. He tried to back away. He will never back down. She backed across the room. She backed away hurriedly. She backed into the garage. Teachers are strongly backing the new educational policies. The children backed away from him in fear. The committee finally backed down over the issue of spending cuts. The government was forced to back down from implementing these proposals. The horse was heavily backed on the morning of the race. They instinctively backed away from the intense heat. Try backing the car in—it’s easier that way. his election bid was financially backed by a soft drinks company. Campaigners, backed by business leaders, have been calling for a no vote. Doctors have backed plans to raise tax on cigarettes. He has publicly backed the call for faster reform.Idioms (British English) to support somebody/something that is not successful Phrasal Verbsback awayback downback offback off (from something)back onto somethingback out (of something)back upback up somebodyback somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: back