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)

Other Words from backlash

backlasher noun

Examples of backlash in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There was an immediate backlash on social media, with consumers attacking the brand and wondering how something like this could happen. Jessica Billingsley, Rolling Stone, 10 Jan. 2022 Despite widespread backlash to that law during the 2010 midterm elections, Reid defeated Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle by six points as other Republicans won a landslide election to retake the House. Marisa Schultz, Fox News, 9 Jan. 2022 These pushes for Asian American studies coincide with a national backlash to the teaching of race in public schools. NBC News, 7 Jan. 2022 Of course he was met with much backlash, particularly from fellow New Yorker, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Essence, 7 Jan. 2022 The backlash on social media swirled as the state braced for another winter storm, creating a headache for a governor already juggling the aftermath of the I-95 crisis and a resurgent coronavirus in the final days of his four-year term. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022 But there has clearly been a backlash to all of that, with deep roots that are not simple. Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2022 After a right-wing backlash to pandemic restrictions and lockdowns, lawmakers moved to rein in the governor’s emergency powers. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Jan. 2022 Thus a backlash to any movement is ensured, according to Dr. Wasow. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Dec. 2021

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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The first known use of backlash was in 1815

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Last Updated

13 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Backlash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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English Language Learners Definition of backlash

: a strong public reaction against something


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