backwards


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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.

backwards

(ˈbækwədz) or

backward

adv
1. towards the rear
2. with the back foremost
3. in the reverse of usual order or direction
4. to or towards the past
5. into a worse state: the patient was slipping backwards.
6. towards the point of origin
7. bend over backwards lean over backwards fall over backwards informal to make a special effort, esp in order to please
8. know backwards informal to understand completely

backwards

1. 'backwards'

If you move or look backwards, you move or look in the direction your back is facing.

The hummingbird can fly backwards.
He overbalanced and stepped backwards onto a coffee cup.
Lucille looked backwards at the once-lovely site where her great-great-grandparents' graves had lain.

If you do something backwards, you do it the opposite way to the usual way.

Listen to the tape backwards.
2. 'backward'

Speakers of American English sometimes say backward instead of 'backwards'.

The snout hit Hooper in the chest and knocked him backward.

In both British and American English, backward is an adjective. A backward movement or look is one in which someone or something moves or looks backwards.

She took a backward step.
Without a backward glance, he walked away.

When backward is an adjective, it can only be used in front of a noun.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.backwards - at or to or toward the back or rearbackwards - 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"
2.backwards - in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normalbackwards - 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"

backwards

backward
adverb
1. towards the rear, behind you, in reverse, rearwards Bess glanced backwards.
2. in reverse order, back to front, in the opposite way from usual He works backwards, building a house from the top downwards.
3. to the past, back unshakable traditions that look backward rather than ahead

backwards

adverb
1. Toward the back:
2. In or toward a former location or condition:
Translations
إلى الخَلْف، باتِّجاهٍ عَكْسيإِلى الوَرَاءإلى الوَراءإلى الوَرَاءبِطَريقَةٍ عَكْسِيَّةٍ
dozadupozpátkuzpět
baglænsbagudtilbage
hacia atráspara detrásrevésa contrapeloal revés
peegelpiltsaamatutagasisuunastagurpiditahapoole
kelvotontaaksepäintakaperinvanhanaikainen
naopakounatraške
háttalvisszafelé
aftur , til bakaaftur á bak
反対に後方に
뒤로뒤쪽으로
nazadpospiatkyspätne
baklänges
ไปข้างหลัง ย้อนหลังถอยหลัง
arkayageri gerigeriyegeriye doğruters
ngược lạivề phía sau

backwards

[ˈbækwərdz] adv
(= towards the back) [move, go] → en arrière; [walk] → à reculons; [look] → en arrière; [brush, comb] → à rebours
to take a step backwards → faire un pas en arrière
to fall backwards → tomber à la renverse
to move backwards and forwards → faire des allées et venues
people travelling backwards and forwards to and from London
BUT les gens qui font la navette pour aller à Londres.
(= in reverse order) [read a list] → à l'envers; [count] → à l'envers
to know sth backwards, to know sth backwards and forwards (US) (= thoroughly) → connaître qch sur le bout des doigts
(in time)en arrière, vers le passé
to look backwards to the past → regarder en arrière vers le passé
(fig) a step backwards → un pas en arrièrebackward somersault nsalto m arrière

backwards

adv
rückwärts; to fall backwardsnach hinten fallen; to walk backwards and forwardshin und her gehen; to stroke a cat backwardseine Katze gegen den Strich streicheln; to lean or bend over backwards to do something (inf)sich fast umbringen or sich (dat)ein Bein ausreißen, um etw zu tun (inf); I know it backwards (Brit) or backwards and forwards (US) → das kenne ich in- und auswendig
(= towards the past)zurück; to look backwardszurückblicken

backwards

[ˈbækwədz] back£ward (Am) [ˈbækwəd] advindietro
to walk backwards → camminare all'indietro
backwards and forwards → avanti e indietro
to bend over backwards to do sth (fam) → farsi in quattro per fare qc
to know sth backwards (fam) → sapere qc a menadito

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.

backwards

إِلى الوَرَاء, إلى الوَرَاء dozadu, pozpátku baglæns rücklings, rückwärts ανάποδα, προς τα πίσω al revés, hacia atrás, revés takaperin en arrière naopako, unatraške al contrario, all’indietro 反対に, 後方に 뒤로, 뒤쪽으로 achterstevoren, achteruit baklengs na odwrót, wstecz ao contrário, para trás назад, наоборот baklänges ไปข้างหลัง ย้อนหลัง, ถอยหลัง geriye doğru, ters ngược lại, về phía sau 向后, 相反地
References in classic literature ?
Carr's daughters, nevertheless from time to time cast a paternal glance backwards upon their escorts, who had each seized a handle of the two trunks, and were carrying them in couples at the young ladies' side.
yelled Daggoo, straining forwards and backwards on his seat, like a pacing tiger in his cage.
You observe that in the ordinary swimming position of the Sperm Whale, the front of his head presents an almost wholly vertical plane to the water; you observe that the lower part of that front slopes considerably backwards, so as to furnish more of a retreat for the long socket which receives the boom-like lower jaw; you observe that the mouth is entirely under the head, much in the same way, indeed, as though your own mouth were entirely under your chin.
When the first blast of smoke shot out through the bars of my helmet, all those people broke for the woods, and Sandy went over backwards and struck the ground with a dull thud.
goes the second one, and he tumbles backwards on to the ground, heavy and solid, with his arms spread out.
Why, look here - Shakespeare walked backwards before that tailor from Tennessee, and scattered flowers for him to walk on, and Homer stood behind his chair and waited on him at the banquet.
And when the nigger was gone he got up and walked the floor, backwards and forwards, mumbling and muttering to himself and plowing his hands through his hair.
She sometimes endeavoured for a few minutes to read; but the book was soon thrown aside, and she returned to the more interesting employment of walking backwards and forwards across the room, pausing for a moment whenever she came to the window, in hopes of distinguishing the long-expected rap.
Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third storey, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it--and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended--a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence.
We have oftentimes the honour to entertain your gentlemen in their travelling backwards and forwards betwixt London and Paris, sir.
The playground was a bare gravelled yard, open to all the back of the house and the offices; and I knew that the servants read it, and the butcher read it, and the baker read it; that everybody, in a word, who came backwards and forwards to the house, of a morning when I was ordered to walk there, read that I was to be taken care of, for I bit, I recollect that I positively began to have a dread of myself, as a kind of wild boy who did bite.
and began dancing backwards and forwards in a manner quite unparalleled within my limited experience.