• Oriented toward the back.

    "The battleship had three backwards guns at the stern, in addition to the primary complement."

  • Clumsy, inept, or inefficient.

    "He was a very backwards scholar, but he was a marvel on the football field."

  • (derogatory) Behind current trends or technology.

    "Modern medicine regards the use of leeches as a backwards practice."

  • Reversed.

    "The backwards lettering on emergency vehicles makes it possible to read in the rear-view mirror."


  • In the opposite direction to usual.

    "The clock did not work because the battery was inserted backwards."

  • Toward the back.

    "Life is lived forwards, but understood backwards.—Søren Kierkegaard"

  • "The cabinet toppled over backwards."

  • In a manner such that the back precedes the front.

    "The tour guide walked backwards while droning on to the bored seniors."

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