backwards */*/

UK [ˈbækwə(r)dz] / US [ˈbækwərdz] adjective, adverb
Summary:

Backwards can be used in the following ways: - as an adverb: I stepped backwards. - more rarely as an adjective: a backwards step
1) if you move or look backwards, you move or look in the direction that is behind you

He was thrown backwards by the force of the explosion.

I glanced backwards over my shoulder to see if anyone was following me.

2)
a) in the opposite way or order from usual

Count backwards from ten to one.

Let's work backwards through all the steps to see where we went wrong.

b) with the back part at the front

Your skirt is on backwards.

3)
a) towards a time in the past

It's only by looking backwards that we can understand how these rivalries developed.

b) not progressing but changing back to a previous worse state

With these new weaker pollution controls, the government seems to be moving backwards.

See:
bend I, know I

English dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • backwards — 1510s, from BACKWARD (Cf. backward) with adverbial genitive. Figurative phrase bend over backwards is recorded from 1901 …   Etymology dictionary

  • backwards — [bak′wərdz] adv. BACKWARD * * * …   Universalium

  • backwards — [bak′wərdz] adv. BACKWARD …   English World dictionary

  • Backwards — This article is about the novel by Grant Naylor. For a definition of the word backwards , see the Wiktionary entry [http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/backwards backwards] . For the Red Dwarf episode, see Backwards (Red Dwarf episode). Infobox Book |… …   Wikipedia

  • backwards — [[t]bæ̱kwə(r)dz[/t]] (in AM, use backward) 1) ADV: ADV after v If you move or look backwards, you move or look in the direction that your back is facing. The diver flipped over backwards into the water... He took two steps backward... Bess… …   English dictionary

  • backwards — back|wards S2 [ˈbækwədz US wərdz] adv also backward [ wəd US wərd] AmE 1.) in the direction that is behind you ≠ ↑forwards ▪ Hannah took a step backward. ▪ She pushed me and I fell backwards into the chair. 2.) towards the beginning or the past ≠ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • backwards — adv. 1 away from one s front (lean backwards; look backwards). 2 a with the back foremost (walk backwards). b in reverse of the usual way (count backwards; spell backwards). 3 a into a worse state (new policies are taking us backwards). b into… …   Useful english dictionary

  • backwards — backward, backwards 1. For the adverb, both forms are in use, although backward is somewhat more common in AmE and backwards in BrE: • Talk ran backward from the events of the morning A. Munro, CanE 1987 • I walked backward to look at her in the… …   Modern English usage

  • backwards —    The notion that walking backwards is unlucky was occasionally noted in the mid 19th century from the Lancashire/ Yorkshire area: [Lancashire] children are frequently cautioned by their parents not to walk backwards when going on an errand; it… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • backwards*/ — [ˈbækwədz] adv 1) in the direction that is behind you The car rolled backwards down the hill.[/ex] 2) in the opposite way or order from usual Count backwards from ten to one.[/ex] Your skirt is on backwards.[/ex] 3) towards a time in the past We… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

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