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Từ điển Oxford Advanced Learner 8th
back



back [back backs backed backing] noun, adjective, adverb, verb BrE [bæk] NAmE [bæk]
noun  
 
PART OF BODY
1. the part of the human body that is on the opposite side to the chest, between the neck and the tops of the legs; the part of an animal's body that ↑corresponds to this
Do you sleep on your back or your front?
He stood with his back to the door.
They had their hands tied behind their backs.
They set off with the wind at their backs (= behind them).
I pulled (= injured the muscles in) my back playing squash.
back pain
a back massage
A small boy rode on the elephant's back.
see also bareback, ↑horseback
2. the row of bones in the middle of the back
Syn: backbone, Syn:spine
She broke her back in a riding accident.
He put his back out (= dislocated sth in his back) lifting the crates.  
 
PART FURTHEST FROM FRONT
3. usually singular ~ (of sth) the part or area of sth that is furthest from the front
We could only get seats at the back (= of the room).
I found some old photos at the back of the drawer.
He was shot in the back of the knee.
The house has three bedrooms at the front and two at the back.
• (BrE)There's room for three people in the back.
• (NAmE)There's room for three people in back = of a car, etc..
• (BrE)If you'd like to come round the back (= to the area behind the house), I'll show you the garden.
see also hardback, ↑paperback, ↑short back and sides  
 
OF PIECE OF PAPER
4. usually singular ~ (of sth) the part of a piece of paper, etc. that is on the opposite side to the one that has information or the most important information on it
Write your name on the back of the cheque.  
 
OF BOOK
5. usually singular ~ (of sth) the last few pages of a book, etc
The television guide is at the back of the paper.  
 
OF CHAIR
6. the part of a chair, etc. against which you lean your back  
 
-BACKED
7. (in adjectives)used to describe furniture that has the type of back mentioned
a high-backed sofa  
 
IN SPORT
8. (in sports)a player whose main role is to defend their team's goal
compare forward n.
see also fullback, ↑halfback
more at cover your back at cover v., have eyes in the back of your head at eye n., know sb/sth like the back of your hand at know v., a pat on the back at pat n., pat sb/yourself on the back at pat v., push sth to the back of your mind at push v., make a rod for your own back at rod, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours at scratch v., the shirt off sb's back at shirt, a stab in the back at stab n., stab sb in the back at stab v., the straw that breaks/broke the camel's back at straw, (like) water off a duck's back at water n.

Word Origin:
Old English bæc, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch and Old Norse bak. The adverb use dates from late Middle English and is a shortening of ↑aback.

Collocations:
Physical appearance
A person may be described as having:
Eyes
(bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes
deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes
small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/(informal) shifty eyes
piercing/penetrating/steely eyes
bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes
bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows
long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashes
Face
a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose
a straight/a hooked/a Roman/(formal) an aquiline nose
full/thick/thin/pouty lips
dry/chapped/cracked lips
flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks
soft/chubby/sunken cheeks
white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth
a large/high/broad/wide/sloping forehead
a strong/weak/pointed/double chin
a long/full/bushy/wispy/goatee beard
a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil moustache/ (especially US) mustache
Hair and skin
pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin
dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin
a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion
deep/fine/little/facial wrinkles
blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/(BrE) ginger/grey hair
straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair
thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair
dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair
long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair
a bald/balding/shaved head
a receding hairline
a bald patch/spot
a side/centre/(US) center (BrE) parting/ (NAmE) part
Body
a long/short/thick/slender/(disapproving) scrawny neck
broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders
a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest
a flat/swollen/bulging stomach
a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist
big/wide/narrow/slim hips
a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back
thin/slender/muscular arms
big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands
long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers
long/muscular/hairy/shapely/(both informal, often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs
muscular/chubby/(informal, disapproving) flabby thighs
big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet
a good/a slim/a slender/an hourglass figure
be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build

Which Word?:
at the back / at the rear / behind
At the back and at the rear have a similar meaning, but at the rear is used more in formal or official language: What’s that at the back of the fridge? Smoking is only allowed at the rear of the aircraft. It is more usual to talk about the back door of a house but the rear exit of an aircraft or public building. If something is behind something else it is near to the back of it but not part of it. Compare: Our room was at the back of the hotel and There’s a lovely wood just behind our hotel.

Example Bank:
Come around back and I'll show you the pool.
He hunches his back when he walks.
He leaned his back against the bar.
He smiled and gave me a hearty slap on the back.
He spent six months recovering from a broken back.
He was carrying a small child on his back.
He was standing with his back to the fire.
He yawned and stretched his back as he got out of bed.
He's in bed with a bad back.
His back stiffened as he saw the photographers waiting.
I had my pullover on back to front.
I have a nagging pain in my lower back.
I warned her she should watch her back.
I was flat on my back for six weeks when I broke my leg.
If you'd like to come round the back, I'll show you the garden.
My money's all fallen down the back of the cushion.
People say bad things about him behind his back, but never to his face.
She decided to turn her back on Paris and return home.
She decided to turn her back on Paris and return to her home town.
She deserves a pat on the back for her efforts.
She felt a sharp pain in the small her back.
She was lying on her back on the sofa.
The arts page is usually towards the back of the newspaper.
The boss was certain that the staff would stop working as soon as his back was turned.
The cat arched its back and hissed at the dog.
The children sat back to back so they couldn't see each others' drawings.
The cup had been pushed to the back of the cupboard.
The man was refusing to go to the back of the queue.
The sun beat down on their bare backs.
There's room for three people in back.
They blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back.
They tied his hands behind his back.
Two passengers sat in the back of the car.
We could only get seats at the back.
Would you give me a back rub?
a seat with good back support
Idioms:at the back of your mind back and forth back in the day back in the days back of beyond back of something back the wrong horse back to back back to front behind somebody's back break the back of something get off somebody's back get somebody's back up glad to see the back of somebody have somebody's back have your back to the wall off the back of a lorry on somebody's back on the back burner on the back of something on your back put your back into something turn your back turn your back on somebody
Derived:back away back down back off back onto something back out back somebody up back something up back up
 
adjective only before noun  
 
AWAY FROM FRONT
1. located behind or at the back of sth
We were sitting in the back row.
back teeth
a back room (= one at the back of a building)
the back page of a newspaper
compare front adj.  
 
FROM PAST
2. of or from a past time
a back number of the magazine  
 
OWED
3. owed for a time in the past
back pay/taxes/rent  
 
PHONETICS
4. (phonetics) (of a vowel)produced with the back of the tongue in a higher position than the front, for example /[ɑː] / in English
compare central, ↑front

Word Origin:
Old English bæc, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch and Old Norse bak. The adverb use dates from late Middle English and is a shortening of ↑aback.
 
adverb  For the special uses of back in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example pay sb back is in the phrasal verb section at pay.  
 
AWAY FROM FRONT
1. away from the front or centre; behind you
I stepped back to let them pass.
Sit back and relax.
You've combed your hair back.
He turned and looked back.
She fell back towards the end of the race.
Opp: forward  
 
AT A DISTANCE
2. at a distance away from sth
The barriers kept the crowd back.
Stand back and give me some room.  
 
UNDER CONTROL
3. under control; prevented from being expressed or coming out
He could no longer hold back his tears.  
 
AS BEFORE
4. to or into the place, condition, situation or activity where sb/sth was before
Put the book back on the shelf.
Please give me my ball back.
He'll be back on Monday.
It takes me an hour to walk there and back.
Could you go back to the beginning of the story?
She woke up briefly and then went back to sleep.
We were right back where we started, only this time without any money.  
 
IN PAST
5. in or into the past; ago
The village has a history going back to the Middle Ages.
She left back in November.
That was a few years back.  
 
AT A PREVIOUS PLACE
6. at a place previously left or mentioned
We should have turned left five kilometres back.
Back at home, her parents were worried.
I can't wait to get back home.  
 
IN RETURN
7. in return or reply
If he kicks me, I'll kick him back.
Could you call back later, please?
more at come back/down to earth at earth n., back to square one at square n.

Word Origin:
Old English bæc, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch and Old Norse bak. The adverb use dates from late Middle English and is a shortening of ↑aback.
 
verb  
 
MOVE BACKWARDS
1. intransitive, transitive to move or make sth move backwards
+ adv./prep. He backed against the wall, terrified.
to back out of a parking space
~ sth + adv./prep. If you can't drive in forwards, try backing it in.
compare reverse  
 
SUPPORT
2. transitive ~ sb/sth to give help or support to sb/sth
Her parents backed her in her choice of career.
Doctors have backed plans to raise the tax on cigarettes.
The programme of economic reform is backed (= given financial support) by foreign aid.
a United Nations-backed peace plan  
 
BET MONEY
3. transitive ~ sth to bet money on a horse in a race, a team in a competition, etc
I backed the winner and won fifty pounds.  
 
MUSIC
4. transitive ~ sth to play or sing music that supports the main singer or instrument
see also backing  
 
COVER BACK
5. transitive ~ sth (with sth) usually passive to cover the back of sth in order to support or protect it  
 
BE BEHIND
6. transitive, usually passive ~ sth (BrE)to be located behind sth
The house is backed by fields.
Verb forms:

Word Origin:
Old English bæc, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch and Old Norse bak. The adverb use dates from late Middle English and is a shortening of ↑aback.

Thesaurus:
back verb T
Her parents backed her in her choice of career.
support • • second • • champion • • side with sb • • vote • |BrE (be) in favour (of sb/sth) • |AmE (be) in favor (of sb/sth)
back/support/side with/vote for sb in sth
back/support/second/vote for/be in favour of a plan/proposal/motion/resolution
back/support/champion/be in favour of reform/an idea

Example Bank:
Can you back your car up so that I can get through?
He backed out of the drive.
He took a step forward and she nervously backed away.
He tried to back away.
He will never back down.
She backed across the room.
She backed away hurriedly.
She backed into the garage.
Teachers are strongly backing the new educational policies.
The children backed away from him in fear.
The committee finally backed down over the issue of spending cuts.
The government was forced to back down from implementing these proposals.
The horse was heavily backed on the morning of the race.
They instinctively backed away from the intense heat.
Try backing the car in— it's easier that way.
his election bid was financially backed by a soft drinks company.
Campaigners, backed by business leaders, have been calling for a no vote.
Doctors have backed plans to raise tax on cigarettes.
He has publicly backed the call for faster reform.

 
See also:back off backwards

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