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backwards - definition and synonyms

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adjective, adverb     backwards pronunciation in British English
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.
      with the back part at the front

      Your skirt is on backwards.

  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.

      Synonyms and related words
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