backward


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia.
Related to backward: Backward Integration

back·ward

 (băk′wərd)
adj.
1. Directed or facing toward the back or rear.
2. Done or arranged in a manner or order that is opposite to previous occurrence or normal use.
3. Unwilling to act; reluctant; shy.
4. Behind others in progress or development: The technology was backward, but the system worked.
adv. or back·wards (-wərdz)
1. To or toward the back or rear.
2. With the back leading.
3. In a reverse manner or order.
4. To, toward, or into the past.
5. Toward a worse or less advanced condition.

back′ward·ly adv.
back′ward·ness n.
Usage Note: Most American English dictionaries list -wards as a spelling variant of the directional suffix -ward. Accordingly, two variants are provided for most of the adverbs that end with this suffix: backward/backwards, toward/towards, upward/upwards, and so on. Although both variants are considered acceptable, the -ward suffix is more common in American English, whereas the -wards suffix is more common in British English. This distinction is more prominent in edited prose than in casual writing or speech, possibly because many American copyeditors follow style manuals that recommend or prescribe the -ward variant. Despite this dialectal differentiation, there remains significant variation in usage among individuals and even among the different -ward words themselves. This variation is evident in the results from our 2012 usage survey: backwards and towards were deemed acceptable by 72 percent and 69 percent of Panelists, respectively, but only 38 percent found forwards to be acceptable. Note that for those -ward words that also function as adjectives, the form without the s is standard: a backward look; a westward journey.

backward

(ˈbækwəd)
adj
1. (usually prenominal) directed towards the rear: a backward glance.
2. retarded in physical, material, or intellectual development: backward countries; a backward child.
3.
a. of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary
b. (in combination): backward-looking.
4. reluctant or bashful: a backward lover.
5. (Chess & Draughts) chess (of a pawn) behind neighbouring pawns and unable to be supported by them
adv
a variant of backwards
ˈbackwardly adv
ˈbackwardness n

back•ward

(ˈbæk wərd)

adv. Also, back′wards.
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.
5. toward a less advanced state; retrogressively.
adj.
6. directed toward the back or past.
7. reversed; returning: a backward movement.
8. behind in time, progress, or development: a backward learner.
9. bashful or hesitant; shy: a backward suitor.
Idioms:
1. backward(s) and forward(s), in every detail; thoroughly.
2. bend, lean, or fall over backward, to exert oneself to the utmost; make a serious effort.
[1250–1300]
back′ward•ly, adv.
back′ward•ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.backward - directed or facing toward the back or rearbackward - directed or facing toward the back or rear; "a backward view"
regressive - opposing progress; returning to a former less advanced state
retrospective - concerned with or related to the past; "retrospective self-justification"
forward - at or near or directed toward the front; "the forward section of the aircraft"; "a forward plunge down the stairs"; "forward motion"
2.backward - (used of temperament or behavior) marked by a retiring naturebackward - (used of temperament or behavior) marked by a retiring nature; "a backward lover"
timid - showing fear and lack of confidence
forward - used of temperament or behavior; lacking restraint or modesty; "a forward child badly in need of discipline"
3.backward - retarded in intellectual development
archaicism, archaism - the use of an archaic expression
retarded - relatively slow in mental or emotional or physical development; "providing a secure and sometimes happy life for the retarded"
4.backward - having made less than normal progress; "an economically backward country"
adynamic, undynamic - characterized by an absence of force or forcefulness
Adv.1.backward - at or to or toward the back or rearbackward - at or to or toward the back or rear; "he moved back"; "tripped when he stepped backward"; "she looked rearward out the window of the car"
forrad, forrard, forward, forwards, frontward, frontwards - at or to or toward the front; "he faced forward"; "step forward"; "she practiced sewing backward as well as frontward on her new sewing machine"; (`forrad' and `forrard' are dialectal variations)
2.backward - in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normalbackward - in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normal; "it's easy to get the `i' and the `e' backward in words like `seize' and `siege'"; "the child put her jersey on backward"
3.backward - in or to or toward a past timebackward - in or to or toward a past time; "set the clocks back an hour"; "never look back"; "lovers of the past looking fondly backward"
ahead, forward - toward the future; forward in time; "I like to look ahead in imagination to what the future may bring"; "I look forward to seeing you"

backward

adjective
1. reverse, inverted, inverse, back to front, rearward, BWD (S.M.S.) He did a backward flip.
reverse forward, frontward
2. regressive, negative, downward, for the worse, degenerative, retrograde, retrogressive a backward step into unskilled work
3. underdeveloped, primitive, undeveloped, unsophisticated We need to accelerate the pace of change in our backward country.
4. slow, behind, stupid, retarded, deficient, underdeveloped, subnormal, half-witted, behindhand, slow-witted I was slow to walk and my parents thought I was backward.

backward

adjective
1. Directed or facing toward the back or rear:
2. Not forward but reticent or reserved in manner:
3. Exhibiting lack of education or knowledge:
4. Having only a limited ability to learn and understand:
Informal: soft.
5. Not progressing and developing as fast as others, as in economic and social aspects:
6. Economically and socially below standard:
7. Clinging to obsolete ideas:
adverb
1. Toward the back:
2. In or toward a former location or condition:
Translations
إلى الخَلْفمُتَخَلِّف عَقْليا أو جَسَديّاامُتَخَلِّف، غير مُتَطَوِّر
obrácený zpětopožděnýsměřující vzadzaostalý
bagudrettettilbageståendeunderudviklet
arriérésens devant derrière
elmaradotthátrafelé irányuló
á eftir tímanumseinòroskasem beinist aftur á bak/til baka
atbulomatgalinisatsilikęsatsilikimasiš kailio nertis
atpakaļ vērstsatpalicisneattīstīts
spätný
nazajritenskozaostal
az gelişmişgerigeri kalmışgeriyeyavaş

backward

[ˈbækwəd]
A. ADJ
1. [motion, glance] → hacia atrás
backward and forward movementmovimiento m de vaivén
2. [pupil, country] → atrasado
3. (= reluctant) → tímido
he wasn't backward in claiming the moneyno se mostró tímido a la hora de reclamar el dinero
he's not backward in coming forward (iro) → no peca de tímido
B. ADV
1. [look] → atrás, hacia atrás; [move] → hacia atrás
to walk/fall backwardandar/caer hacia atrás
to go backward and forwardir y venir, ir de acá para allá
this is a step backward (fig) → esto supone un paso atrás
see also bend over
2. (= in reverse) → al revés
to read sth backwardleer algo para atrás
to know sth backwardsaberse algo al dedillo or de pe a pa

backward

[ˈbækwərd]
adj
[movement, glance] → en arrière
backward and forward movement → mouvement de va-et-vient backward roll, backward somersault
(= retrograde) [measure] → rétrograde
a backward step → un pas en arrière
(= undeveloped) [country] → arriéré(e); [society, economy] → arriéré(e)
(old-fashioned or offensive) [child] → retardé(e) (old-fashioned)
(= shy) → hésitant(e)
adv = backwardsbackward-looking backward looking [ˈbækwərdlʊkɪŋ] adj (= regressive, reactionary) [attitude, approach] → rétrograde; [culture, country, organization] → rétrograde

backward

adj
backward and forward movementVor-und Zurückbewegung f; backward flow of informationRückfluss mvon Daten; a backward glanceein Blick zurück; a backward step (fig)ein Schritt mzurück
(fig) economy, regionrückständig; (pej: = retarded) childzurückgeblieben; to be socially/economically backwardgesellschaftlich/wirtschaftlich rückständig sein
adv = backwards

backward

[ˈbækwəd] adj
a. (motion, glance) → all'indietro
b. (pupil) → che è indietro, tardivo/a (pej) (country) → arretrato/a
c. (reluctant) backward (in doing sth)restio/a (a fare qc)

backward

(ˈbӕkwəd) adjective
1. aimed or directed backwards. He left without a backward glance.
2. less advanced in mind or body than is normal for one's age. a backward child.
3. late in developing a modern culture, mechanization etc. That part of Britain is still very backward; the backward peoples of the world.
ˈbackwardness noun
ˈbackwards adverb
1. towards the back. He glanced backwards.
2. with one's back facing the direction one is going in. The child walked backwards into a lamp-post.
3. in the opposite way to that which is usual. Can you count from 1 to 10 backwards? (= starting at 10 and counting to 1).
backwards and forwards
in one direction and then in the opposite direction. The dog ran backwards and forwards across the grass.
bend/fall over backwards
to try very hard. He bent over backwards to get us tickets for the concert.

backward

a. atrasado-a, tardío-a, lento-a, retraído-a;
adv. atrás, hacia atrás, al revés; [direction] en sentido contrario.

backward

adv hacia atrás
References in classic literature ?
I've seen unfortunate little creatures left to servants, or backward ones pushed forward, when it's real cruelty.
There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life.
It was not easy, that backward tramp through the jungle, especially as night had fallen.
I was walking backward, in a crouching position, when I heard Antonia scream.
She had resolved never to take another step backward.
First it runs smoothly, as if meaning to go down the descent as things were ordered; then it angles about and faces the shores; nor are there places wanting where it looks backward, as if unwilling to leave the wilderness, to mingle with the salt.
In the irritation and disgust of her walk hither, she had never noticed the situation of the cabin, as it nestled on the slope at the fringe of the woods; in the preoccupation of her disappointment and the mechanical putting away of her things, she had never looked once from the window of her room, or glanced backward out of the door that she had entered.
There is a rustling of stiff silks; a tread of backward and forward footsteps to and fro across the chamber.
To make himself the one trusted friend, to whom should be confided all the fear, the remorse, the agony, the ineffectual repentance, the backward rush of sinful thoughts, expelled in vain
So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way.
Furthermore, you are now to consider that only in the extreme, lower, backward sloping part of the front of the head, is there the slightest vestige of bone; and not till you get near twenty feet from the forehead do you come to the full cranial development.
At last after a terrible struggle I threw him off backward.