1 of 2


often vulgar
: ludicrously disordered : showing an arrangement grotesquely counter to the usual or workable
incompetents doing their work in an ass-backward way


2 of 2


variants or ass-backwards
often vulgar
: in a completely disordered or improper way : in an ass-backward way
an inexperienced assistant filing everything ass-backward

Word History



ass entry 4 + backward

First Known Use


1952, in the meaning defined above


1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ass-backward was in 1937

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near ass-backward

Cite this Entry

“Ass-backward.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!