American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


BACK'WARDS, adverb [back and ward. See Ward.] With the back in advance; as, to move backward.

2. Toward the back; as, to throw the arms backward; to move backwards and forwards.

3. On the back, or with the back downwards; as, to fall backward.

4. Toward past times or events; as to look backward on the history of man.

5. By way of reflection; reflexively.

6. From a better to a worse state; as, public affairs go backward.

7. In time past; as, let us look some ages backward.

8. Perversely; from a wrong end.

I never yet saw man but she would spell him backward.

9. Towards the beginning; in an order contrary to the natural order; as, to read backward.

10. In a scriptural sense, to go or turn backward, is to rebel, apostatize, or relapse into sin, or idolatry. Isaiah 1:1.

11. Contrarily; in a contrary manner.

To be driven or turned backward, is to be defeated, or disappointed. Ps.xl.turn judgment backward, is to pervert justice and laws. Is.lix.

BACK'WARD, adjective Unwilling; averse; reluctant; hesitating. For wiser brutes are backward to be slaves.

2. Slow; sluggish; dilatory. The mind is backward to undergo the fatigue of weighing every argument.

3. Dull; not quick of apprehension; behind in progress; as a backward learner.

4. Late; behind in time; coming after something else, or after the usual time; as backward fruits; the season is backward.

BACK'WARD, noun The things or state behind or past.

In the dark backward or abysm of time. [Not proper, nor in use.]