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

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BACKWARD

The recoil, catching him in a bad posture, knocked him backward.

Fair on each shield struck a lance, and backward reeled their holders.

The dog-musher indicated White Fang with a backward thrust of his thumb.

Have the children of the well-to-do been backward in volunteering?

The Dauphine was not backward in repeating this word for word.

He read it and reread it over and over again––forward and backward, too.

He will remark with interest on the backward state of solid geometry, which, alas!

His huge arms, with amazing power in them, bent Lee backward.

Even the most backward among the trees had commenced to unfold their buds.

A backward jerk of the head was the only sign he permitted himself.

WORD ORIGIN

c.1300, from abakward, from Old English on bæc (see back (adv.)) + -weard adjectival and adverbial suffix (see -ward). Old English had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. Meaning "behindhand with regard to progress" is first attested 1690s. To ring bells backward (from lowest to highest), c.1500, was a signal of alarm for fire or invasion, or to express dismay. Another Middle English word for "backward, wrongly" was arseward (c.1400).

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BACKWARD

about

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