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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.
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References in classic literature ?
But as the last whelmings intermixingly poured themselves over the sunken head of the Indian at the mainmast, leaving a few inches of the erect spar yet visible, together with long streaming yards of the flag, which calmly undulated, with ironical coincidings, over the destroying billows they almost touched; --at that instant, a red arm and a hammer hovered backwardly uplifted in the open air, in the act of nailing the flag faster and yet faster to the subsiding spar.
These scales possess a polyodontode crown backwardly curved and include triangular central long and narrow lateral odontodes (Fig.
The Coordinator who was represented by his Secretary, Engineer Ayuba Karofi said that, 'North East is backwardly ravaged with poverty and lack good representative at the center that is why we are far behind in the country and the insecurity that devastated the 6 states of Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe of the region, that is why we are calling on Ibrahim Dankwambo to come and salvage the region and the country at large'.
Students read information and experience each of the plants on the trail as we backwardly map their learning experiences to complete the summative assessment task:
The pupa is about 25mm long with brown chest and a short blunt process above the eye with transverse rows of backwardly projecting asperities on the dorsal surface of the abdominal segments.
The anterolabial side of the tooth is simple, convex and oriented backwardly.
We are backwardly integrated and hence can give better assurance of quality.
NFC is part of HF RFID, too, being backwardly compatible with other HF RFID standards.
All new technology delivered in the MRR is backwardly compatible with fielded systems around the world.
In dorsal view this sheath shows two backwardly flared plates [arrowed in Fig.
0 compatibility provides fast data transfer rates of up to 5 gigabits per second, while being backwardly compatible with USB 2.
The Greek books, by contrast, are "defensive against strange ideas" and backwardly conservative (p.