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

Definition of backdrop

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from backdrop

backdrop transitive verb

Synonyms for backdrop


background, ground

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Sure, the thought of seeing your favorite film with the glowing sunset and majestic monuments as your backdrop sounds good in theory. Stephanie Williams, Washington Post, "Outdoor movies are overrated. Head indoors for these cool, free D.C. film series.," 9 Aug. 2019 Stop by and have your photo taken (or take your own) with the summit as your backdrop. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "10 awesome Burning Man things to do on Day 7, Aug. 31," 5 Aug. 2019 With the beach as her backdrop, Jenner also posed in a blue Chanel bikini. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Summer Vacation Never Looked Hotter Than Kylie Jenner in Turks and Caicos," 15 July 2019 With Milwaukee’s skyline and Lake Michigan as your backdrop, gorgeous views abound—enjoy a hearty steak with a glass of wine at this upscale restaurant. Travel Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where to find the best outdoor dining with a waterfront view in Wisconsin," 14 July 2019 Its photorealistic backdrops provide a gorgeous canvas for a story of a talking dinosaur and a silent human child trying to make their way across the American West to the dinosaur’s home. Allegra Frank, Vox, "All 21 Pixar movies, definitively ranked," 27 June 2019 Jagger sang for more than two hours on a massive stage, with the city's skyline as his backdrop, and seemed no worse for the wear. NBC News, "Mick Jagger back in action with Rolling Stones after medical issue postponed tour," 22 June 2019 But a couple did ask to set up the mobile barn at Seattle Center so their barn-wedding backdrop would include the Space Needle. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "Barn Weddings Are Hot—and Smelly, Muddy, and Prone to Four-Legged Crashers," 14 Sep. 2018 And though Westworld itself may be a $40,000 per day fantasy, its real-life Southwestern backdrop begs to be explored. Nick Davidson, Outside Online, "Visit Westworld for Real," 19 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.

See More

First Known Use of backdrop

1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about backdrop

Statistics for backdrop

Last Updated

16 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backdrop

The first known use of backdrop was in 1866

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on backdrop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backdrop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backdrop

Spanish Central: Translation of backdrop

Nglish: Translation of backdrop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of backdrop for Arabic Speakers

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).


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!