1. Oriented toward the back.
- The battleship had three backwards guns at the stern, in addition to the primary complement.
- The backwards lettering on emergency vehicles makes it possible to read in the rear-view mirror.
3. (derogatory) Behind current trends or technology.
- Modern medicine regards the use of leeches as a backwards practice.
4. Clumsy, inept, or inefficient.
- He was a very backwards scholar, but he was a marvel on the football field.
1. at or to or toward the back or rear
- tripped when he stepped backward
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): backward
Sentences with backwards as an adverb:
- The cabinet toppled over backwards.
- Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.—Søren Kierkegaard
- The clock did not work because the battery was inserted backwards.
- The tour guide walked backwards while droning on to the bored seniors.