behind


behind

preposition

  1. at or toward the rear of: Look behind the house.
  2. not keeping up with, later than; after: behind schedule.
  3. in the state of making less progress than: We can’t afford to fall behind our competitors.
  4. on the farther side of; beyond: behind the mountain.
  5. originating, supporting, or promoting: Who’s behind this program?
  6. hidden or unrevealed by: Malice lay behind her smile.
  7. at the controls of: behind the wheel of a car.

adverb

  1. at or toward the rear; rearward: to lag behind.
  2. in a place, state, or stage already passed.
  3. in arrears; behindhand: to be behind in one’s rent.
  4. slow, as a watch or clock: more than 20 minutes behind.
  5. as a cause or often latent feature of: Behind their harassment lay the traditional fear of foreigners.
  6. in a situation that exists afterward: The victim left behind a large family.
  7. Archaic. in reserve; to come: Greater support is yet behind.

adjective

  1. following: the man behind.

noun

  1. Informal. the buttocks.

preposition

  1. in or to a position further back than; at the rear of; at the back of
  2. in the past in relation toI’ve got the exams behind me now
  3. late according to; not keeping up withrunning behind schedule
  4. concerning the circumstances surroundingthe reasons behind his departure
  5. backing or supportingI’m right behind you in your application

adverb

  1. in or to a position further back; following
  2. remaining after someone’s departurehe left it behind
  3. in debt; in arrearsto fall behind with payments

adjective

  1. (postpositive) in a position further back; retardedthe man behind prodded me

noun

  1. informal the buttocks
  2. Australian rules football a score of one point made by kicking the ball over the behind line between a goalpost and one of the smaller outer posts (behind posts)
adv.

Old English behindan “behind, after,” from bi “by” + hindan “from behind” (see hind (adj.)). The prepositional sense emerged in Old English. Euphemistic noun meaning “backside of a person” is from 1786. Phrase behind the times is from 1905. Behind the scenes (1711) is from the theater; figurative sense attested by 1779.

In addition to the idioms beginning with behind

  • behind bars
  • behind closed doors
  • behind in
  • behind someone’s back
  • behind the eight ball
  • behind the scenes
  • behind the times
  • behind time

also see:

  • come from behind
  • drop behind
  • fall behind
  • get behind
  • power behind the throne
  • put behind one
  • wet behind the ears
  • with one arm tied behind one’s back

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