Meaning of BEHIND in English


I. bə̇ˈhīnd, bē- adverb (or adjective)

Etymology: Middle English behinde, behinden, from Old English behindan, from be- + hindan from behind, behind — more at hind

1. : in the place or situation left (as by someone or some thing gone or departed)

leaving much unfinished work behind

only a small group stayed behind

little residue remained behind after evaporation

2. archaic : to come : unrealized

his heritage that is yet behind


a. : in arrears

behind with the rent

behind in his dues

b. : in a secondary or inferior position

lag behind in competition

: remiss

behind in his work

— often used with a negative

the oppostition was not behind in the use of bitter words

c. : slow

the clock was behind

the train was an hour behind


a. : in back

the car behind

: to the rear

the men in poor condition fell behind early in the march

b. : toward the back : backward

to look behind

5. : in the past : gone by

the drab days in a furnished room in Rome seem well behind — Time

6. : beyond : on the other or far side of

the stream, slowing through broad meadows, has the Green mountains behind — H.E.McDaniel

II. preposition

Etymology: Middle English behinde, behinden, from behinde, behinden, adverb


a. of something having a front and back : at the back of

a garden behind a house

taking cover behind barricades

— sometimes used with a reflexive object

he looked behind him

b. — used as a function word to indicate anything that lies or intervenes between or as if between one thing (as an observer) and another

hills hidden behind clouds

behind his friendly manners was maliciousness

drop behind the horizon


a. — used as a function word to indicate someone who has departed or is at a distance

the staff remained behind the troops

— often used with a reflexive object

they left wives and children behind them

left behind him a great reputation

b. : as past experience for

believe that … we have behind us, at least in most parts of the country, the crudest of the pioneering period — M.Eucharista

with several generations of devoted service to the church behind him — M.H.Thomas

c. : not in prospect for : gone by for

his best jobs are all behind him



(1) : following

there was rain behind the wind — H.D.Skidmore

behind the band marched the infantry

(2) : in pursuit of

a fox with a pack of hounds behind him


(1) : below

way behind his last year's average

: inferior to

sales were only a few percentage points behind those for the previous year

: retarded in relation to

behind the times

with theory running behind practice, we will not be surprised to meet some inconsistencies — Hunter Mead

(2) : not up to but competing with

the firm was close behind the leader in the field

(3) of a pitcher in baseball : in the situation of having thrown more balls than strikes to

the pitcher was behind the batter

(4) of a batter in baseball : in the situation of having a count of more strikes than balls


a. : later than understood or stipulated

a train behind schedule

behind time in his appointments

b. — used as a function word to indicate anything that belongs in a period later than or subsequent to another

looking back behind the vast technological superstructure of western civilization to a quieter day — H.J.J.Winter


a. : in the background of : as an ever-present quality or feature of

behind United States-Mexican relations lies the constant question of unsettled damage claims — H.E.Davis

b. : out of the mind or consideration of

he put unpleasant memories behind him

c. : beyond

an analysis of the story behind the news

: past

whenever possible he has gone behind the printed book to the manucript — Times Literary Supplement


a. : on the side of : supporting

in a crisis Latin America would probably be behind the U.S.

b. : serving as a foundation for or basis of : upholding, backing

behind his arguments are years of experience

a good picture … must have intelligent thinking behind it — F.L.Mott


a. : serving as motivation for : prompting, provoking

economic pressure was behind the thievery

the real reasons behind his actions

b. : in control of : guiding , regulating

the person behind the wheel of a car

behind the throttle of a locomotive

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: behind (I)

1. : the back side (as of a garment)

2. : buttocks — sometimes considered vulgar

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.