back end

noun
plural back ends

Definition of back end

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the back part or section of something : rear end sense 1 As he was leaving the pits, he lost control of the back end of his car and slid across the patch of grass that separates the pit road exit from the track.— Mark Bechtel
2 : the latter or final part or period of a business arrangement or financial undertaking With the Roth IRA, you get your tax reward on the back end—you put in already taxed money, but withdrawals are tax free… .— Janet Novack — compare front end sense 3
3 computing : the part of a software system that is not visible or accessible to a user of that system The $2 billion plan calls for new cash registers and scanners in its stores and will improve systems on the back end to make sure stores are stocked properly.— Megan Barnett For us, that meant building the site so that the content we produce on the back end automatically winds up in the right spots on the front end, freeing our writers and editors to do what they do best—keep you abreast of the latest technological innovations and provide you with a context in which to understand their implications.IEEE Spectrum — compare front end sense 2
4 British dialect : the latter part of the year : the autumn and early winter He bred no cattle, but bought in about 120 Irish beasts and Shorthorn stirks out of Westmorland and Cumberland in spring and at the back end of the year, and fed them out in the stalls.— H. Rider Haggard

back-end

adjective
\ ˈbak-ˌend How to pronounce back-end (audio) \

Definition of back-end (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : relating to, associated with, or occurring in the latter or final part or period of an undertaking or business arrangement back-end logistics/operations/commissions You need to know all the back-end fees when you go to turn in a lease, things like excess mileage that can really zing you.— Ray Martin — compare front-end sense 1
2 computing : not visible to the user of a device or service back-end software that keeps the website running The back-end system then processes the transaction and rings the vending machine, instructing it to dispense your order. The payment automatically shows up on your phone bill.— Carol Levin — compare front-end sense 2

First Known Use of back end

Noun

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1973, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of back end was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Back end.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/back%20end. Accessed 2 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on back end

Nglish: Translation of back end for Spanish Speakers

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