back·drop | \ˈbak-ˌdräp \

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


background, ground

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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

However, her comments to journalists in Dubai come against the backdrop of the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Washington Post, "US official links economic protests in Iran to sanctions," 12 July 2018 One of the film’s most upsetting (and climactic) scenes occurs against the backdrop of the mansion’s excesses. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Has an Eerily Familiar Villain," 10 July 2018 Kelly uses three parallel narratives to tell the stories of a New York socialite, a young Polish girl, and a Nazi surgeon, all set against the backdrop of World War II. Team Marie Claire, Marie Claire, "11 Best Beach Reads, According to Our Editors," 6 July 2018 The bird balances skillfully on a delicate branch, its wings splayed out against the backdrop of a dark night’s sky, its majestic power frozen for a moment in time by wildlife photographer Steve Mattheis. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Peep the Stunning Winners of the Audubon Society’s Photo Contest," 6 July 2018 Against the backdrop of the Space Needle, 498 new citizens gathered outside at the Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion, with relatives and friends cheering them on. Sarah Wu, The Seattle Times, "At joyous Seattle ceremony, 498 become U.S. citizens — and consider what’s ahead," 5 July 2018 At Sacred Heart, students can tour the human body through virtual reality headsets, produce a video against the backdrop of a green screen, or work together on assignments using one of the projection screens. Zahria Rogers, The Courier-Journal, "St. Xavier High School submits plans for $6 million library renovation," 3 July 2018 Longtime friends and collaborators, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and wildly entertaining story about friendship and the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of Oakland., "‘Blindspotting’," 2 July 2018 Where to watch: Prime viewing for both events is Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where both the fireworks and the concert will go down against the backdrop of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Jenna Scherer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best 4th of July Fireworks in the USA," 27 June 2018

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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Statistics for backdrop

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for backdrop

The first known use of backdrop was in 1866

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More Definitions for backdrop



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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Comments on backdrop

What made you want to look up backdrop? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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