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backwards - definition and synonyms

 
 
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adjective, adverb backwards pronunciation in British English /ˈbækwə(r)dz/
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Backwards can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb: I stepped backwards.
more rarely as an adjective: a backwards step
 
  1. 1
    if you move or look backwards, you move or look in the direction that is behind you
    He was thrown backwards by the force of the explosion.
    I glanced backwards over my shoulder to see if anyone was following me.
  2. 2
    in the opposite way or order from usual
    Count backwards from ten to one.
    Let’s work backwards through all the steps to see where we went wrong.
    1. a.
  3. 3
    towards a time in the past
    It’s only by looking backwards that we can understand how these rivalries developed.
    1. a.
      not progressing but changing back to a previous worse state
      With these new weaker pollution controls, the government seems to be moving backwards.
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