Hypertext Webster Gateway: "back"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, n. [F. bac: cf. Arm. bak tray, bowl.]
1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by
brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and
others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot
glue, etc.

{Hop back}, {Jack back}, the cistern which receives the
infusion of malt and hops from the copper.

{Wash back}, a vat in which distillers ferment the wort to
form wash.

{Water back}, a cistern to hold a supply of water; esp. a
small cistern at the back of a stove, or a group of pipes
set in the fire box of a stove or furnace, through which
water circulates and is heated.

2. A ferryboat. See {Bac}, 1.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, n. [As b[ae]c, bac; akin to Icel., Sw., & LG. bak,
Dan. bag; cf. OHG. bahho ham, Skr. bhaj to turn, OSlav. b?g?
flight. Cf. {Bacon}.]
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 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. (Naut.) The keel and keelson of a ship.

9. (Mining) 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} (Football), 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.). [Colloq.]

{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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, a.
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} (Arch.), the mass of materials used in filling
up the space between two walls, or between the inner and
outer faces of a wall, or upon the haunches of an arch or

{Back pressure}. (Steam Engine) See under {Pressure}.

{Back rest}, a guide attached to the slide rest of a lathe,
and placed in contact with the work, to steady it in

{Back slang}, a kind of slang in which every word is written
or pronounced backwards; as, nam for man.

{Back stairs}, stairs in the back part of a house; private
stairs. Also used adjectively. See {Back stairs},
{Backstairs}, and {Backstair}, in the Vocabulary.

{Back step} (Mil.), 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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, adv. [Shortened from aback.]
1. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step

2. To the place from which one came; to the place or person
from which something is taken or derived; as, to go back
for something left behind; to go back to one's native
place; to put a book back after reading it.

3. To a former state, condition, or station; as, to go back
to private life; to go back to barbarism.

4. (Of time) In times past; ago. ``Sixty or seventy years
back.'' --Gladstone.

5. Away from contact; by reverse movement.

The angel of the Lord . . . came, and rolled back
the stone from the door. --Matt. xxvii.

6. In concealment or reserve; in one's own possession; as, to
keep back the truth; to keep back part of the money due to

7. In a state of restraint or hindrance.

The Lord hath kept thee back from honor. --Numb.
xxiv. 11.

8. In return, repayment, or requital.

What have I to give you back! --Shak.

9. In withdrawal from a statement, promise, or undertaking;
as, he took back0 the offensive words.

10. In arrear; as, to be back in one's rent. [Colloq.]

{Back and forth}, backwards and forwards; to and fro.

{To go back on}, to turn back from; to abandon; to betray;
as, to go back on a friend; to go back on one's
professions. [Colloq.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Backed}; p. pr. & vb. n.
1. To get upon the back of; to mount.

I will back him [a horse] straight. --Shak.

2. To place or seat upon the back. [R.]

Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed, Appeared to
me. --Shak.

3. To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede;
as, to back oxen.

4. To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back

5. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.

A garden . . . with a vineyard backed. --Shak.

The chalk cliffs which back the beach. --Huxley.

6. To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to
indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.

7. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or
influence; as, to back a friend. ``Parliament would be
backed by the people.'' --Macaulay.

Have still found it necessary to back and fortify
their laws with rewards and punishments. --South.

The mate backed the captain manfully. --Blackw. Mag.

8. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.

{To back an anchor} (Naut.), to lay down a small anchor ahead
of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened
to the crown of the large one.

{To back the field}, in horse racing, to bet against a
particular horse or horses, that some one of all the other
horses, collectively designated ``the field'', will win.

{To back the oars}, to row backward with the oars.

{To back a rope}, to put on a preventer.

{To back the sails}, to arrange them so as to cause the ship
to move astern.

{To back up}, to support; to sustain; as, to back up one's

{To back a warrant} (Law), is for a justice of the peace, in
the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or
indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend
an offender.

{To back water} (Naut.), to reverse the action of the oars,
paddles, or propeller, so as to force the boat or ship

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Back \Back\, v. i.
1. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.

2. (Naut.) To change from one quarter to another by a course
opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.

3. (Sporting) To stand still behind another dog which has
pointed; -- said of a dog. [Eng.]

{To back and fill}, to manage the sails of a ship so that the
wind strikes them alternately in front and behind, in
order to keep the ship in the middle of a river or channel
while the current or tide carries the vessel against the
wind. Hence: (Fig.) To take opposite positions
alternately; to assert and deny. [Colloq.]

{To back out}, {To back down}, to retreat or withdraw from a
promise, engagement, or contest; to recede. [Colloq.]

Cleon at first . . . was willing to go; but, finding
that he [Nicias] was in earnest, he tried to back
out. --Jowett
(Thucyd. )

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: related to or located at the back; "the back yard"; "the
back entrance" [syn: {back(a)}] [ant: {front(a)}]
2: located at or near the back of an animal; "back (or hind)
legs"; "the hinder part of a carcass" [syn: {back(a)}, {hind(a)},
3: of an earlier date; "back issues of the magazine" [syn: {back(a)}]
n 1: the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck
to the end of the spine; "his back was nicely tanned"
[syn: {dorsum}]
2: the side that goes last or is not normally seen; "he wrote
the date on the back of the photograph" [syn: {rear}]
[ant: {front}]
3: the part of something that is furthest from the normal
viewer: "he stood at the back of the stage"; "it was
hidden in the rear of the store" [syn: {rear}] [ant: {front}]
4: (football) a person who plays in the backfield
5: the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and
protecting the spinal cord; "the fall broke his back"
[syn: {spinal column}, {vertebral column}, {spine}, {backbone},
6: the front and back covering of a book; "the book had a
leather binding" [syn: {binding}, {book binding}, {cover}]
7: the part of a garment that covers your back; "they pinned a
`kick me' sign on his back"
8: a support that you can lean against while sitting; "the back
of the dental chair was adjustable" [syn: {backrest}]
9: the position of a player on a football team who is stationed
behind the line of scrimmage
adv 1: in or to or toward a former location; "she went back to her
parents' house"
2: at or to or toward or the back or rear; "he moved back";
"tripped when he stepped backward"; "she looked rearward
out the window of the car" [syn: {backward}, {backwards},
{rearward}, {rearwards}] [ant: {forward}]
3: in or to or toward an original condition; "he went back to
4: in or to or toward a past time; "set the clocks back an
hour"; "never look back"; "lovers of the past looking
fondly backward" [syn: {backward}] [ant: {ahead}, {ahead}]
5: in answer; "he wrote back three days later"; "had little to
say in reply to the questions" [syn: {in reply}]
6: in repayment or retaliation; "we paid back everything we had
borrowed"; "he hit me and I hit him back"; "I was kept in
after school for talking back to the teacher"
v 1: be behind; approve of; "He plumped for the Labor Party"; "I
backed Kennedy in 1960" [syn: {endorse}, {plump for}, {plunk
for}, {support}]
2: travel backward; "back into the driveway"; "The car backed
up and hit the tree"
3: give support or one's blessing to; "I'll second that
motion"; "I can't back this plan"; "endorse a new project"
[syn: {second}, {endorse}, {indorse}]
4: cause to travel backward; "back the car into the parking
spot" [ant: {advance}]
5: support financial backing for; "back this enterprise"
6: be in back of; "My garage backs their yard" [ant: {front}]
7: place a bet on; "Which horse are you backing?" "I'm betting
on the new horse" [syn: {bet on}, {gage}, {stake}, {game},
8: shift to a counterclockwise direction, of the wind
9: establish as valid or genuine; "Can you substantiate your
claims?" [syn: {substantiate}, {back up}]
10: strengthen by providing with a back or backing

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