Definition of "backward" []

  • Directed or facing toward the back or rear. (adjective)
  • Done or arranged in a manner or order that is opposite to previous occurrence or normal use. (adjective)
  • Unwilling to act; reluctant; shy. (adjective)
  • Behind others in progress or development: The technology was backward, but the system worked. (adjective)
  • To or toward the back or rear. (adverb)
  • Directed towards the rear (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Retarded in physical or material (adjective)
  • Having difficulty in learning (adjective)
  • Of or relating to the past; conservative or reactionary (adjective)
  • (in combination) (adjective)
  • Reluctant or bashful (adjective)
  • (of a pawn) behind neighbouring pawns and unable to be supported by them (adjective) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "backward" in a sentence
  • "A human society can either fall backward or progress forward, but it cannot _progress backward_."
  • "I sat at the kitchen counter and drew my name backward with the juice of a stray tomato slice cut for the reception."
  • "All the hidden assistant had to do was trace out the phrase backward and it would magically appear on the front of the board."