v. 1 invest in, wager or bet on She backed a 35-to-2 long shot in the Derby, and she won 2 Also, back up. a support, uphold, stand behind, promote, encourage, help, uphold, second, side with, endorse, aid, abet, assist; sponsor, subsidize, underwrite, subvene, finance, Slang US and Canadian bankroll Your mother and I will back you if you want to start a business b reverse, go or move in reverse, go or move backwards He backed into the driveway 3 back down (from) or off (from) or away (from) or out (of) or up. withdraw (from), retreat (from), abandon, retire (from), backtrack (from), shy away (from), recoil (from), turn tail (from) When Percy stood up to him, the bully backed down The investment sounded risky, so I backed off. Philippa backed out of singing the leading role. Back up and give me room!
n. 4 backside, rear, Technical dorsum She stood with her back towards me 5 at the back of or at someone's back. behind, following, pursuing, chasing, US in back of Here come the hounds at the back of the fox You were at my back in the queue a minute ago. 6 behind the back of or behind someone's back. surreptitiously, secretly, clandestinely, privately, furtively, sneakily, slyly; treacherously, traitorously, perfidiously, deceitfully, insidiously Graham is always telling tales about you behind your back 7 break the back of. a overcome, master Now that he's broken the back of that problem he can get on with his work b US crush, ruin, bankrupt, destroy, defeat, vanquish, Colloq break The government has tried on many occasions to break the back of the Mafia operation 8 on (someone's) back. US weighing (down) on or upon (someone), burdening (someone), lodged with (someone), resting with (someone) The responsibility for the decision is on your back 9 turn one's back on or upon. abandon, forsake, ignore, disregard, repudiate, reject, cast off, disown, deny He turned his back on her when she needed him most 10 with one's back to or against the wall. hard pressed, struggling (against odds), without hope, with little or no hope, helpless, in dire straits, in (serious) trouble After the stock-market crash, some brokers found themselves with their backs to the wall
adj. 11 rear; service, servants' Both back tyres are flat Please use the back staircase from now on. 12 US and Australian and New Zealand outlying, remote, isolated, distant; undeveloped, primitive, raw, rough, uncivilized They raised three boys in the back country, and all of them became doctors 13 in arrears, overdue, past due, late; behindhand The tax inspector has advised me that I owe thousands in back taxes
adv. 14 to or toward(s) the rear, rearward(s), backward(s); away We beat back the enemy in severe hand-to-hand fighting I accepted his offer at once, lest he should draw back. Get back from the edge! 15 in return or repayment or requital or retaliation; again I'll pay you back when I have the money She gave him back as good as he had given. 16 ago, in time(s) past Two generations back, his was the finest house in the town 17 behind, behindhand, in arrears, overdue We are a week back in the rent 18 go back on. renege, fail; deny, disavow, break, repudiate He has gone back on his promise to send the payment on the first of every month