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background - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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noun background pronunciation in British English /ˈbækˌɡraʊnd/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] the type of family, social position, or culture that someone comes from
    1. a.
      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.

  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 bit of 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.

  3. 3
    [countable] the part of a picture or pattern that is behind the main people or things in it. The main person or thing is in the foreground

    a red cross on a white background



to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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Open Dictionary


the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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