Back

Back

1. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements.

2. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent.

3. Moving or operating backward; as, back action. Back charges, charges brought forward after an account has been made up. Back filling, the retrograde movement of a man or body of men, without changing front. Back stream, a current running against the main current of a stream; an eddy. To take the back track, to retrace one's steps; to retreat.

1. In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending from the neck to the end of the spine; in other animals, that part of the body which corresponds most nearly to such part of a human being; as, the back of a horse, fish, or lobster.

2. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge. [The mountains] their broad bare backs upheave into the clouds. (Milton)

3. The outward or upper part of a thing, as opposed to the inner or lower part; as, the back of the hand, the back of the foot, the back of a hand rail. Methought love pitying me, when he saw this, Gave me your hands, the backs and palms to kiss. (Donne)

4. The part opposed to the front; the hinder or rear part of a thing; as, the back of a book; the back of an army; the back of a chimney.

5. The part opposite to, or most remote from, that which fronts e67 the speaker or actor; or the part out of sight, or not generally seen; as, the back of an island, of a hill, or of a village.

6. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.

7. A support or resource in reserve. This project Should have a back or second, that might hold, if this should blast in proof. (Shak)

8. The keel and keelson of a ship.

9. (Science: chemical) The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage.

10. A garment for the back; hence, clothing. A bak to walken inne by daylight. (Chaucer) Behind one's back, when one is absent; without one's knowledge; as, to ridicule a person behind his back. Full back, half back, quarter back, players stationed behind those in the front line. To be or lie on one's back, to be helpless. To put, or get, one's back up, to assume an attitude of obstinate resistance (from the action of a cat when attacked). To see the back of, to get rid of. To turn the back, to go away; to flee. To turn the back on one, to forsake or neglect him.

Origin: as baec, bac; akin to Icel, Sw, & LG. Bak, dan. Bag; cf. OHG. Bahho ham, Skr. Bhaj to turn, OSlav. Bg flight. Cf. Bacon. The series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord; the fall broke his back.

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