Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He lived on his steps, cleaning up his backgrounds until dark.

And yet what gems of landscape he has touched into his backgrounds here and there!

Two or three architects engaged him to fill in skies and backgrounds to their plans.

Sometimes, too, we see figures of velvet woven into backgrounds of satin.

Panic or no panic, Cove City refuses to remain in the backgrounds.

Places, if not parasitic upon her, at least were mere settings and backgrounds.

Marking forms from tablets and cutting and pasting them on backgrounds.

What backgrounds he would get for his pictures in that beautiful country!

So much for what I have called the backgrounds of Chinese poetry.

His wigs, drapery, and backgrounds were all painted for him.


1670s, from back (adj.) + ground (n.); original sense was theatrical, later applied to painting. Figurative sense is first attested 1854.