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1back/ˈbæk/noun
pluralbacks
1back
/ˈbæk/
noun
pluralbacks
Learner's definition of BACK  
[count]
: the rear part of the body : the part of the body that is opposite to the stomach and chest and that goes from the neck to the top of the legs
— see picture at human
   b  : the part of an animal that is like a person's back
— see also horseback
: the side or surface of something that is opposite the front or face : the rear side or surface of something — usually singular
   b  : the side or surface of something (such as a piece of paper) that is not usually used or seen first — usually singular
   c  : a place, position, or area that is at or near the rear of something — usually singular
: the part of a chair or seat that supports a person's back
: the section of a book, magazine, etc., that includes the last pages — usually singular
   b  : the part of a book's cover that can be seen when the book is on a shelf
sports  : a player in some games (such as soccer and American football) who is positioned behind the front line of players

a pat on the back

— see 1pat

a stab in the back

— see 1stab

at/in the back of your mind

: in the part of your mind where thoughts and memories are kept — used to describe ideas, memories, etc., that someone has but that are not usually thought about or not perfectly remembered

back is to/against the wall

◊ When your back is to/against the wall or you have your back to/against the wall you are in a bad position in which you are forced to do something in order to avoid failure.

back to back

: with backs opposite or against each other
: happening one after the other
— see also back-to-back

back to front

of a piece of clothing
: with the back where the front should be

behind someone's back

: without someone's knowledge : in secret

break the back of

: to get control of (something you are trying to stop or defeat) : to greatly weaken or subdue (something)

eyes in the back of your head

— see 1eye

get your back up

: to become angry or annoyed and want to fight or argue
— compare put someone's back up (below)

have someone's back

— see watch someone's back (below)

in back

: in an area at the back of something

in back of

chiefly US
: directly behind (something or someone)

on the back of

: because of (something)
disapproving  : by using the efforts of (other people)

on/off your back

◊ Someone who is always or frequently criticizing you or telling you what to do is on your back and won't get off your back.

on your back

◊ If you are (flat) on your back you are lying with your back against the ground, on a bed, etc.
This phrase is sometimes used figuratively.

out back

(US)or chiefly Britishout the backorround the back
: in the area behind something (such as a building)

put someone's back up

: to offend or annoy someone : to make someone angry or ready to argue
— compare get your back up (above)

put your back into

: to work very hard at (something) : to put a lot of effort into (something)

scratch someone's back

— see 1scratch

see the back of

◊ In British English, to be glad/happy (etc.) to see the back of someone is to be glad to see someone finally going away.

stab (someone) in the back

— see 2stab

the shirt off your back

— see shirt

turn your back

: to turn so that you are facing away from someone — often + on — often used figuratively

watch someone's back

orhave someone's back
: to protect someone who is doing something that is dangerous or risky

watch your back

◊ If people tell you to watch your back, they are telling you to be careful.

— backless

/ˈbækləs/adjective
2back/ˈbæk/adverb
2back
/ˈbæk/
adverb
Learner's definition of BACK  
: in, toward, or at the back or rear
   b  : to, toward, or in the place where someone or something was previously
: in or into the past : backward in time
also  : ago
: to or toward a former state or condition
   b  : in return or reply
   c  — used to describe someone or something that is being held or kept from moving forward or happening
   d  — used to describe something that is being kept instead of being given or revealed
: to or at an angle

back of

US, informal
: on the rear side of (something) : behind

get your own back

— see get back at get
3back/ˈbæk/adjective
3back
/ˈbæk/
adjective
Learner's definition of BACK  
always used before a noun
: of or relating to the back : located at the back
: far from a central or main area
: not yet paid : owed from an earlier time
: published at an earlier time : no longer current
golf  — used to refer to the final 9 holes of an 18-hole golf course
4back/ˈbæk/verb
backsbackedbacking
4back
/ˈbæk/
verb
backsbackedbacking
Learner's definition of BACK  
[+ object] 
: to give help to (someone) : support
   b  : to bet on (someone or something)
   c  : to provide evidence that supports (something)
   d  : to provide the money that is needed for (something)
   e  : to sing or play music that supports (a main singer or musical instrument) — often + up
— see also back up (below)
: to move backward
[no object]
[+ object]
— sometimes used figuratively
[+ object]  : to provide (something) with a back
[no object]  : to have the back toward something

back away

[phrasal verb]
: to move away from something or someone by walking backward — often + from — often used figuratively

back down

[phrasal verb]
: to stop arguing or fighting for something — often + from

back into

[phrasal verb]
back into (something) 
: to become involved in (something) without planning to become involved

back off

[phrasal verb]
: to stop arguing or fighting for something : to back down
: to decide not to do something that you had agreed to do : to back out
: to stop bothering someone

back out

[phrasal verb]
: to decide not to do something that you had agreed to do — often + of

back up

[phrasal verb]
: to move backward — sometimes used figuratively
   b  back (a vehicle) up or back up (a vehicle)  : to move (a vehicle) backward
: to become blocked so that movement or flow is slowed or stopped
   b  back (something) up or back up (something)  : to cause (something) to become blocked
back (someone or something) up or back up (someone or something)  : to give help or support to (someone or something)
— see also 4back 1e (above)
back (something) upcomputers or back up (something)  : to make a copy of (a computer file or data) to protect it from being lost
— see also backup
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