1. Being at the back
or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back
2. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back
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
of men, without
changing front. Back stream, a current running
against the main current
of a stream; an eddy. To take
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 another animals, that part
of the body
which corresponds most almost 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 arm, the back
of the foot, the back
of a arm
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 the speaker or artist; or the part
out of sight, or not usually 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 Must have a back
or second, that might
keep, if this
in proof." (Shak)
8. The keel
and keelson of a ship.
9. 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 face 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 taking 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.
Source: Websters Vocabulary