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background

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noun American English pronunciation: background /ˈbækˌɡraʊnd/ 
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singularbackground
pluralbackgrounds
  1. 1
    [countable] the type of career, training, or education that someone has had

    His musical background helps him a lot in his job.

    background in:

    We are looking for writers with a background in law.

    1. a.
      the type of culture, economic situation, or social status that someone comes from

      students from very different backgrounds

      The mayor's background is solidly middle class.

  2. 2
    [singular/uncountable] the general situation in which something happens
    background of:

    The talks have been taking place against a background of increasing violence.

    1. a.
      information about what has happened in the past that helps you to understand the present situation

      Let me give you a little background about myself.

      background to:

      We need to know the background to the case.

      background information/knowledge/material:

      You'll need some background information on the local economy.

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