back

n.

  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.
  2. A ferryboat. See Bac, 1.
  3. 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.
  4. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.
  9. A support or resource in reserve.
  10. The keel and keelson of a ship.
  11. The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage.
  12. A garment for the back; hence, clothing.

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.

v. i.

  1. To get upon the back of; to mount.
  2. To place or seat upon the back.
  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 books.
  5. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.
  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.
  8. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.
  9. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.
  10. To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.
  11. To stand still behind another dog which has pointed; -- said of a dog.

adv.

  1. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back.
  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.
  5. Away from contact; by reverse movement.
  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 another.
  7. In a state of restraint or hindrance.
  8. In return, repayment, or requital.
  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.