back·​bend | \ ˈbak-ˌbend How to pronounce backbend (audio) \

Definition of backbend

1 : a movement (as in gymnastics) in which from a standing position with the knees straight the body is arched backward until the hands touch the floor over the head
2 : a posture or pose (as in yoga) that extends the front of the body and bends the spine backwards … this action supports your lower back and generates a strong lift of the belly out of the pelvis to help release the spine into a deep backbend.— Barbara Benagh

Examples of backbend in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Toward the finish of the number, the oddball spun around to reveal a second face on the back of her head before offering up one final backbend. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Crowns the Winner of Season 11," 31 May 2019 Players execute backbends and supine twists under high ceilings in low light. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "How yoga benefits one high school boys basketball team," 18 Feb. 2020 Brit, 37, starts off balancing in the air on Sam’s feet before showing off her stellar backbend, shoulder stretch, and camel pose skills. Claire Gillespie,, "Britney Spears Posted a Video Doing Yoga in a String Bikini—and Her Routine Looks Intense," 28 Oct. 2019 In addition to her handstand walking, Spears was also shown doing backbends and balancing on her partner's feet. Leah Groth,, "Britney Spears' Abs Are on Full Display In Her Newest Workout Video," 5 Nov. 2019 Jenny walked toward the front of the room, watching her son perform cartwheels and backbends with a friend, dressed just as himself. Washington Post, "On Halloween, this 10-year-old trans boy is free to be anything he wants," 30 Oct. 2019 When the coast was clear at the Anna Sui rehearsal, Hill even showed off her gymnastics skills and did a backbend on the runway. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Watch Taylor Hill’s New York Fashion Week Experience, Which Included Pizza Delivery and a Backbend on the Runway," 19 Feb. 2019 Where a classic Nike ad might show an athlete in midstride, alone with her determination, Outdoor Voices is all about group shots of women practicing backbends or dribbling balls midlaugh. Nora Caplan-bricker, Outside Online, "Ty Haney Is the Queen of Athleisure," 5 June 2018 The ballerina, who still holds that backbend, and her partner gaze behind themselves — and yet they are propelled in the opposite direction, by her legs, which stretch, flourish and, walking on point, slowly lead the way. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "How Balanchine Turns a Fairy Story Into Tragedy," 20 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of backbend

1911, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of backbend was in 1911

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Cite this Entry

“Backbend.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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