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

Now, though, the star is receiving major backlash from folks on Reddit who are concerned with her all-natural approach to skin care. Kaleigh Fasanella, Teen Vogue, "Bella Thorne Shared How She Treats Acne Scars," 29 Aug. 2019 Now, though, the star is receiving major backlash from folks on Reddit who are concerned with her all-natural approach to skin care. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Bella Thorne’s Lemon Juice Acne-Scar Treatment May Be Natural, But It’s Also Very Bad for Your Skin," 28 Aug. 2019 Spencer immediately received backlash for a comment that seemed dismissive of male dancers, and she was even accused of bullying. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "300 dancers show up in Times Square as Lara Spencer apologizes for Prince George ballet comment," 27 Aug. 2019 Spencer received severe backlash for her comments, both from fans and prominent members of the dance community, including Dance Moms stars Brady Farrar and Abby Lee Miller. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "‘GMA's Lara Spencer Apologizes For Her 'Insensitive' Prince George Comments, But People Say It's Not Enough," 26 Aug. 2019 The idea, which Benioff and Weiss pitched to HBO in 2017, received immense backlash from critics and the public. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Game of Thrones creators sign $200 million Netflix deal to make exclusive shows and films," 8 Aug. 2019 Freeman added that there have been churches in the sanctuary network that have received backlash for housing immigrants, but that Northwoods can still expect admiration and support from many. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Northwoods Unitarian Universalist church in Woodlands now a sanctuary for asylum-seekers," 6 Aug. 2019 People like Katy Perry, Harry Styles, Leo DiCaprio, and Prince Harry are receiving backlash for attending in private jets and yachts. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "What Is Google Camp and Why Are Celebs Receiving Backlash For Attending?," 2 Aug. 2019 While some are anxiously anticipating its release, the film has received some backlash from others for its choice to cast a British actress for the starring role. Oyin Adedoyin,, "Watch the trailer for 'Harriet,’ based of the life of iconic Maryland abolitionist," 23 July 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

8 Oct 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

Comments on backlash

What made you want to look up backlash? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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