\ ˈbak-ən(d)-ˈfȯrth How to pronounce back-and-forth (audio) \

Definition of back-and-forth

 (Entry 1 of 2)

back and forth


Definition of back and forth (Entry 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: Adverb Why go back and forth trying to schedule a meeting when our calendars can do it for us? Krishna Motukuri, Forbes, 22 June 2022 This includes devotion to family: several months ago, Chad's father suffered a major stroke, and he's been frequently flying back and forth to California to visit. Diane Herbst,, 17 June 2022 Instead of moving back and forth between fiction and reality, Cruise’s music can live fully in both. Chris Richards, Washington Post, 13 June 2022 Others continue past her, moving their hips and arms back and forth on their way to class. Claire Bryan, San Antonio Express-News, 10 June 2022 That meant lots of flying back and forth between villages. Olivia Ebertz, Anchorage Daily News, 22 May 2022 Each nostril is tuned to detect some odors better than others, with the specialization moving back and forth. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 May 2022 In the end, the two spent only a couple of months flying back and forth to see one another before Burton decided to move in with Solberg in New York. Francesca Street, CNN, 9 May 2022 As with past Slaw Device pedals, moving your feet back and forth on these things feels like sliding an ice skate across a pristine frozen lake. Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'back-and-forth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of back-and-forth


1941, in the meaning defined above


1613, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for back-and-forth

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near back-and-forth

back along


back and forth

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Statistics for back-and-forth

Cite this Entry

“Back-and-forth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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