Meaning of BEHIND in English




Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: In addition to the uses shown below, 'behind' is also used in a few phrasal verbs, such as ‘fall behind’ and ‘lie behind’.

Please look at category 14 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.


If something is behind a thing or person, it is on the other side of them from you, or nearer their back rather than their front.

I put one of the cushions behind his head...

They were parked behind the truck...


Behind is also an adverb.

Rising into the hills behind are 800 acres of parkland...

She was attacked from behind.

ADV : usu n ADV , from ADV


If you are walking or travelling behind someone or something, you are following them.

Keith wandered along behind him...

Myra and Sam and the children were driving behind them.


Behind is also an adverb.

The troopers followed behind, every muscle tensed for the sudden gunfire.

ADV : ADV after v


If someone is behind a desk, counter, or bar, they are on the other side of it from where you are.

The colonel was sitting behind a cheap wooden desk...

He could just about see the little man behind the counter.



When you shut a door or gate behind you, you shut it after you have gone through it.

I walked out and closed the door behind me...

He slammed the gate shut behind him.

PREP : PREP pron


The people, reason, or events behind a situation are the causes of it or are responsible for it.

It is still not clear who was behind the killing...

He is embarrassed about the motives behind his decision.



If something or someone is behind you, they support you and help you.

He had the state’s judicial power behind him.

PREP : PREP pron


If you refer to what is behind someone’s outside appearance, you are referring to a characteristic which you cannot immediately see or is not obvious, but which you think is there.

What lay behind his anger was really the hurt he felt at Grace’s refusal...



If you are behind someone, you are less successful than them, or have done less or advanced less.

Food production has already fallen behind the population growth.

≠ ahead of


Behind is also an adverb.

The rapid development of technology means that she is now far behind, and will need retraining...

ADV : be ADV , ADV after v


If an experience is behind you, it happened in your past and will not happen again, or no longer affects you.

Maureen put the nightmare behind her...

PREP : PREP pron


If you have a particular achievement behind you, you have managed to reach this achievement, and other people consider it to be important or valuable.

He has 20 years of loyal service to Barclays Bank behind him...

PREP : have/with n PREP pron


If something is behind schedule, it is not as far advanced as people had planned. If someone is behind schedule, they are not progressing as quickly at something as they had planned.

The work is 22 weeks behind schedule...

≠ ahead of

PREP : oft n PREP n


If you stay behind , you remain in a place after other people have gone.

About 1,200 personnel will remain behind to take care of the air base.

ADV : ADV after v


If you leave something or someone behind , you do not take them with you when you go.

The rebels fled into the mountains, leaving behind their weapons and supplies...

ADV : ADV after v


to do something behind someone’s back: see back

behind bars: see bar

behind the scenes: see scene

behind the times: see time



( behinds)

Your behind is the part of your body that you sit on.

= bottom


Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.