1 of 2


back and forth

2 of 2


: backward and forward
also : between two places or persons

Examples of back-and-forth in a Sentence

Adverb The chair rocked back and forth. The children were shuttled back and forth between school and home.
Recent Examples on the Web
And those tense early minutes set the tone for a back-and-forth game. Kansas City Star, 9 Feb. 2024 The team says the director’s hands-on role in the VFX helped with planning, reduced the back-and-forth and streamlined the work. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Feb. 2024 Google said that Gemini Advanced, for instance, can be a personal tutor, creating step-by-step instructions and sample quizzes or back-and-forth discussions tailored to one’s learning style. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, 8 Feb. 2024 The back-and-forth is perfectly calibrated and sets the tone for the entire arc of Barbie. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, 7 Feb. 2024 Gilbert and Sullivan fan sites carry the back-and-forth offstage drama. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 The strikes on Saturday came after a back-and-forth exchange of more limited attacks in the previous 36 hours between the Houthis and U.S. forces in the Red Sea and nearby waters. Helene Cooper, New York Times, 3 Feb. 2024 After all these years, Michael has built the Housewives’ trust, minimizing any unnecessary back-and-forth over glam—for the most part. Lindy Segal, Glamour, 1 Feb. 2024 The United States settled for silver in a back-and-forth race, losing to the host Russians by less than three-tenths of a second. Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024
But being able to stop outsourcing drawings, a laborious process that required weeks of back and forth on small changes, helped the company to cut the time to market with a new housing community from 120 days to 30 days. Amy Feldman, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 Groups representing insurers argue the department is contributing to that back and forth. Stephen Hobbs, Sacramento Bee, 12 Feb. 2024 As night fell, the couple continued to rock back and forth and later had Anna's daughters Kylee Madison and Kaitlyn Elizabeth to join them for a dance. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2024 One of the first memos that Michaelson and Brunstetter passed back and forth included a meme of Rachel McAdams kissing a piece of pizza. Christopher Barnard, Vogue, 9 Feb. 2024 But while as those whispers have passed back and forth during the past month, the Lakers have managed to keep a major decision completely under wraps. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Nearly six years later, enough paperwork had been passed back and forth at the courthouse for the case to go in front of a jury. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 7 Feb. 2024 But Musk’s own Boring Company, despite abandoning most projects and facing further problems, is now looking to expand a short tunnel system that presently connects two ends of the Las Vegas Convention Center with a subterranean track allowing Tesla chauffeurs to ferry riders back and forth. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 4 Feb. 2024 The action jumps back and forth relentlessly in time. Mike Hale, New York Times, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'back-and-forth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1941, in the meaning defined above


1613, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of back-and-forth was in 1613

Dictionary Entries Near back-and-forth

back and forth



Cite this Entry

“Back-and-forth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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