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

Many recognize that clamping down too hard could lead to backlash. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel hopes to clean up toxic speech in game chat with AI and machine learning," 20 Mar. 2019 In response to the backlash, the brand posted a long apology on its Instagram page. Alyssa Hardy, Allure, "Bellami Hair Just Apologized to Jordyn Woods For Posting a Meme About Her "Bad Hair"," 14 Mar. 2019 In response to the backlash, the brand posted a long apology on their Instagram page. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Bellami Hair Apologizes for Jordyn Woods' Hair Meme," 13 Mar. 2019 Tumblr announced the ban on December 3rd to immediate backlash. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Tumblr porn vanishes today," 17 Dec. 2018 What’s more, the tourism boom of recent years has overwhelmed cities like Kyoto, leading to a backlash from locals who don’t like fuller buses or loud visitors. Alex Ward, Vox, "What I learned go-karting around Tokyo dressed as Spider-Man," 12 Dec. 2018 David has not responded to the backlash and has kept the photo up on his Instagram feed. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Tom Brady Defends David Beckham After He Gets Slammed for Kissing Daughter," 28 Nov. 2018 To refresh your memory, the fan question refers to recent backlash against Jenner from the modeling community after a quote from her interview with Love Magazine was shared on Instagram. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Naomi Campbell Threw Shade at Kendall Jenner with Just Two Words," 27 Sep. 2018 Asked to respond to the backlash Friday, the White House did not comment. Annie Linskey,, "Critics say Trump’s insults of Warren were a double scoop of misogyny, racism," 6 July 2018

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

9 Apr 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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