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


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

The negotiations face hurdles from the outset, coming against a backdrop of international trade tensions that have crimped global economic growth since early last year. Emre Peker, WSJ, "U.S., China Face Off Over Digital-Market Regulation," 6 Mar. 2019 The rainy, moody backdrop that’s come to be expected from London Fashion Week only seems to have heightened the instinct for Day-Glo-inspired personal expression. Vogue, "The Statement Lip Is London’s Street Style Beauty Takeaway," 20 Feb. 2019 Some of Rock’s most iconic photographs of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust line the walls, like the unforgettable image of him clutching a saxophone against a red backdrop, all eye-popping orange hair and electric blue eyeshadow. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Story Behind Ziggy’s, London’s New David Bowie–Themed Bar," 24 Sep. 2018 The backdrop, of course, is a nation in which many activists are more galvanized than ever before on the issue of gun violence in schools. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Rapid Retraction of a School-Shooting Video Game," 5 June 2018 In Marques’Almeida’s striped jumper and matching pants, Beyoncé coordinated perfectly with the backdrop of reds and greens on Lang’s circular canvas. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Beyoncé Just Took the Ultimate Art-Selfie in This Luxury L.A. Concept Store," 25 Jan. 2019 Pike Place Market, famous for fresh flowers, flying fish and farm fare, served as the perfect backdrop for that education. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Connected to the Craft," 3 Dec. 2018 The small town of just 3,595 residents served as the backdrop for Briar Falls, the fictional town at the heart of the festive film. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Hallmark's 'A Majestic Christmas' Was Filmed in the Cutest Small Town—And You Can Visit," 2 Dec. 2018 By Sunday night, a blanket of snow in Washington seemed to provide a calming backdrop for the discontented president. Darlene Superville, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s weekend: New Russia questions, shutdown irritants," 14 Jan. 2019

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

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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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).


to boil down or concentrate

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  • rembrandt-painting-a-young-scholar-and-his-tutor
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