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American Dictionary of the English Language

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BACK, noun

1. The upper part of an animal, particularly of a quadruped, whose back is a ridge. In human beings, the hinder part of the body.

2. The outward or convex part of the hand, opposed to the inner, concave part, or palm.

3. As the back of man is the part on the side opposite to the face; hence the part opposed to the front; as the back of a book and of a chimney, or the back of a house.

4. The part opposite to or most remote from that which fronts the speaker or actor, or the part out of sight; as the back of an isle, of a wood, of a village.

5. As the back is the strongest part of an animal, and as the back is behind in motion; hence the thick and strong part of a cutting tool; as the back of a knife, or of a saw.

6. The place behind or nearest the back; as, on the back of a hill or of a village.

7. The outer part of the body, or the whole body; a part for the whole; as, he has not clothes to his back

8. To turn the back on one, is to forsake, or neglect him.

9. To turn the back to one, to acknowledge to be superior.

10. To turn the back is to depart, or to leave the care or cognizance of; to remove or be absent.

11. Behind the back is in secret, or when one is absent.

12. To cast behind the back in scripture, is to forget and forgive, Is.xxxviii, 17; or to treat with contempt. Ez.xxiii.35. Neh.ix.26.

13. To plow the back is to oppress and persecute. Psalms 129:3.

14. To bow the back is to submit to oppression. Rom.xi.10.

BACK, adverb To the place from which one came; as, to go back is to return.

2. In a figurative sense, to a former state, condition or station; as, he cannot go back from his engagements.

3. Behind; not advancing; not coming or bringing forward; as, to keep back a part; to keep one's selfback.

4. Towards times or things past; as, to look back on former ages.

5. Again; in return; as, give back the money.

6. To go or come back is to return, either to a former place, or state.

7. To go or give back is to retreat to recede.

BACK, verb transitive To mount; to get upon the back; sometimes perhaps to place upon the back; as, to back a horse.

2. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid; as, the Court was backed by the House of Commons.

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

4. To back a warrant, 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.

5. In seamanship, to back an anchor is 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 prevent its coming home.

6. To back astern, in rowing, is to manage the oars in a direction contrary to the usual method, to move a boat stern foremost.

7. To back the sails, is to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern.

BACK, verb intransitive To move or go back; as, the horse refuses to back