(noun, adjective, verb)


1. Less important in a scenery.

- background noise.


1. a person's social heritage: previous experience or training

- he is a lawyer with a sports background

Definition categories: attribute, heritage, inheritance

2. the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground

- he posed her against a background of rolling hills

Similar word(s): ground

Definition categories: thought, aspect, panorama, prospect, scene, view, vista

3. information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem

- the embassy filled him in on the background of the incident

Definition categories: thought, information

4. extraneous signals that can be confused with the phenomenon to be observed or measured

- they got a bad connection and could hardly hear one another over the background signals

Definition categories: event, disturbance, interference, noise

5. relatively unimportant accompanying situation

- when the rain came he could hear the sound of thunder in the background

Definition categories: event, accompaniment, attendant, concomitant

6. the state of the environment in which a situation exists

Similar word(s): scope, setting

Definition categories: state, environment

7. (computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear

Similar word(s): desktop

Definition categories: man–made, screen

8. scenery hung at back of stage

Similar word(s): backcloth, backdrop

Definition categories: man–made, scene, scenery

Sentences with background as a noun:

- The lawyer had a background in computer science.

- There was tons of noise in the background.

- The photographer let us pick a background for the portrait.

- The antivirus program is running in the background.


1. understate the importance or quality of

Similar word(s): downplay

Definition categories: change, accent, accentuate, emphasise, emphasize, punctuate, stress