back·​drop | \ ˈbak-ˌdräp How to pronounce backdrop (audio) \

Definition of backdrop

1 : a painted cloth hung across the rear of a stage

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Other Words from backdrop

backdrop transitive verb

Synonyms for backdrop


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Examples of backdrop in a Sentence

The mountains provided a perfect backdrop for the wedding photos. The novel unfolds against a backdrop of war. The city provides the backdrop for the love story.
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Recent Examples on the Web Against a backdrop of escalating chaos, Tremblay quickly homes in on two characters — one a victim, the other a caregiver — whose stories reflect the sheer human cost of an unchecked epidemic. Bill Sheehan, Washington Post, "Two new horror novels make sense of our current dystopian reality," 7 July 2020 This, against a backdrop of rising poaching, suggests that times are changing for Botswana’s elephants. Vicky Boult, Quartz Africa, "Scientists have some theories on why hundreds of elephants are mysteriously dying in Botswana," 7 July 2020 Kimball, an eloquent speaker, struggling to put emotions into words provides the perfect backdrop for where IndyCar finds itself, which mirrors much of white America. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "As IndyCar approaches major stage, uncertainty looms on its approach to social justice movement," 2 July 2020 The backdrop to this year’s Independence Day is a centuries-long fight for liberation for Black people that thousands of people have taken to the streets over the last month. Erin Corbett,, "Fourth Of July Doesn’t Stand For Freedom Until There Is Justice For Black Americans," 2 July 2020 The United States will mark July 4 — our Independence Day — against a backdrop of crisis. USA Today, "Black Lives Matter: We must live up to Declaration of Independence’s promise," 2 July 2020 The filter prompted users to smile in order to break chains, all against a backdrop of a Pan-African flag. Allison Morrow, CNN, "How Snapchat missed the mark on Juneteenth," 19 June 2020 The immediate backdrop for this obliteration of history is the catastrophic failure of Trump’s administration to control the spread of the coronavirus. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "The Unpresident and the Unredeemed Promise," 12 June 2020 Outside, layers of succulents and other drought-tolerant plantings create a backdrop for patios, decking and an infinity-edge pool. Neal J. Leitereg, Los Angeles Times, "Modernist Hiram Kwan residence in Los Feliz fetches top dollar," 5 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backdrop.' 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 backdrop

1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for backdrop

Time Traveler

The first known use of backdrop was in 1866

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Statistics for backdrop

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backdrop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for backdrop


How to pronounce backdrop (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backdrop

: a painted cloth that is hung across the back of a stage
: the scene or scenery that is in the background
: the setting or conditions within which something happens

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