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background

play
noun, often attributive back·ground \ˈbak-ˌ(g)rau̇nd\

Definition of background

  1. 1a :  the scenery or ground behind something a picture of her son with mountains in the background background scenery for the playb art :  the part of a painting representing what lies behind objects in the foreground dark shadows in the background of the paintingc :  an image that displays on a computer screen underneath the various available icons and windows As they participate, they earn “Kinetic City Points,” which they can spend on downloadable prizes, such as screensavers and computer backgrounds. — Science

  2. 2 :  an inconspicuous position shy people who try to stay in the background

  3. 3a :  the conditions that form the setting within which something is experienced … set in a background of tropical luxuriance. — Tom Marvelb (1) :  the circumstances or events antecedent to a phenomenon or development the economic background of the American Civil War took place against a background of increasing tension (2) :  information essential to understanding of a problem or situation background informationc :  the total of a person's experience, knowledge, and education comparing the candidates' backgrounds ran a background check to make sure she had no criminal record

  4. 4a :  intrusive sound or radiation (see radiation 2b) that interferes with received or recorded electronic signals a recording with a lot of background noiseb physics :  a more or less steady level of noise above which the effect (such as radioactivity) being measured by an apparatus (such as a Geiger counter) is detected; especially :  a somewhat steady level of radiation in the natural environment (as from cosmic rays)

  5. 5 :  a level of computer processing at which the processor uses time not required for a primary task to work on an additional task — compare foreground

on background

  1. :  with the understanding that information offered for publication will not be attributed to a specific source an official speaking on background

NEW

First Known Use: 1672

See Words from the same year

Examples of background in a sentence

  1. Objects in the foreground are drawn larger than those in the background.

  2. a photograph of a house with mountains in the background

  3. red letters printed on a white background

  4. An ethnic conflict that was simmering away in the background finally erupted into civil war.

  5. Let me provide you with some background on this problem.

1672

First Known Use of background

1672

Synonym Discussion of background

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development. the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development. the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect. a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

2

background

verb back·ground

Definition of background

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to provide with background … a richly backgrounded study of a silent movie star … — Hollis Alpert

1768

First Known Use of background

1768



BACKGROUND Defined for English Language Learners

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background

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noun, often attributive back·ground \ˈbak-ˌ(g)rau̇nd\

Definition of background for English Language Learners

  • : the part of a scene or picture that is farthest from the viewer : the part of a scene that is behind a main figure or object in a painting, photograph, etc.

  • : a surface or color that is behind or around something (such as a printed design)

  • : a position that attracts little attention


BACKGROUND Defined for Kids

background

play
noun back·ground \ˈbak-ˌgrau̇nd\

Definition of background for Students

  1. 1 :  the scenery or ground that is behind a main figure or object The sign had red letters printed on a white background.

  2. 2 :  a position that attracts little attention He tried to keep in the background.

  3. 3 :  the total of a person's experience, knowledge, and education Before hiring me, the company wanted to check my background.



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