(noun, adjective, adverb)


1. directed or facing toward the back or rear

- a backward view

Similar word(s): backswept, sweptback, cacuminal, retroflex, converse, reversed, transposed, inverse, reverse, rearward, receding, reflexive, regardant, retracted, retral, retrograde, retroflexed, returning, reversive, regressive, retrospective

2. (used of temperament or behavior) marked by a retiring nature

- a backward lover

Similar word(s): bashful, blate, timid

3. retarded in intellectual development

Similar word(s): feebleminded

4. having made less than normal progress

- an economically backward country

Similar word(s): adynamic, undynamic

Sentences with backward as an adjective:

- They left without a backward glance.

- The occasional backward movement of planets is evidence they revolve around the sun.

- a backward child

- a backward season


1. at or to or toward the back or rear

- he moved back

- tripped when he stepped backward

Similar word(s): back, backwards, rearward, rearwards

2. in a manner or order or direction the reverse of normal

- it's easy to get the `i' and the `e' backward in words like `seize' and `siege'

- the child put her jersey on backward

Similar word(s): backwards

3. in or to or toward a past time

- set the clocks back an hour

- never look back

- lovers of the past looking fondly backward

Similar word(s): back

Sentences with backward as an adverb:

- to walk or ride backward; to throw the arms backward


1. The state behind or past.