back·​lash | \ ˈbak-ˌlash How to pronounce backlash (audio) \

Definition of backlash

1a : a sudden violent backward movement or reaction
b : the play between adjacent movable parts (as in a series of gears) also : the jar caused by this when the parts are put into action
2 : a snarl in that part of a fishing line wound on the reel
3 : a strong adverse reaction (as to a recent political or social development)

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Other Words from backlash

backlasher noun

Examples of backlash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But there's growing liberal backlash against its conservative Christian values, and its philanthropic support. Fox News, "Chick-Fil-A manager helps WWII vet change tire in act of kindness," 12 July 2019 Several Democratic candidates vying for the White House have also seized on the backlash against major tech platforms, focusing on concerns of monopoly and labor relations. Hamza Shaban, Washington Post, "Bitcoin slides after Fed chair says Facebook’s cryptocurrency raises ‘serious concerns’," 11 July 2019 Confronted last year with an employee backlash against its sale of artificial-intelligence software to America’s armed forces, Google backed off and withdrew from the JEDI tender. The Economist, "Amazon is eyeing billions in federal contracts," 11 July 2019 Even now, Biden seems intent on turning questions of busing and his civil rights record on Harris — hoping perhaps to take advantage of a backlash against her among his faithful. NBC News, "Biden's mastery of backlash politics takes center stage," 6 July 2019 Nike's decision to yank a sneaker with a Betsy Ross American flag on its heel has spurred a conservative backlash against the shoe company as the nation celebrates the July 4th holiday. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Will Betsy Ross flag shoe controversy hurt Nike or help it?," 4 July 2019 The report prompted a major backlash against the company, ultimately leading to shut down its labs in 2016 and close down completely last year. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes will go on trial next summer," 30 June 2019 The protest triggered a broader backlash against the company, with some customers calling for a boycott. Steve Leblanc, Twin Cities, "Wayfair workers walk out in protest over furniture sale to detention center," 26 June 2019 The protest triggered a broader backlash against the company, with some customers calling for a boycott. Alexandra Olson, Fortune, "Wayfair Employees Walked Out to Protest Furniture Sale to Detention Center for Migrant Children," 26 June 2019

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

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Dictionary Entries near backlash

back judge





back line


Statistics for backlash

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backlash

The first known use of backlash was in 1815

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More Definitions for backlash



English Language Learners Definition of backlash

: a strong public reaction against something

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More from Merriam-Webster on backlash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backlash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backlash

Spanish Central: Translation of backlash

Nglish: Translation of backlash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of backlash for Arabic Speakers

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