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 Some pollsters explain that there has been a backlash against the media’s coverage of Trump and the coronavirus and the economy. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Trump approval at Gallup ‘highest,’ better than Obama, Bush," 16 May 2020 The announcements of bonus eliminations by other chains have triggered a backlash from union leaders. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, "Kroger, other chains to end 'heroes pay' for frontline retail workers," 15 May 2020 The Justice Department last week announced plans to drop the case against Flynn, prompting backlash and questions from the legal community. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for May 14: Stay-home orders, vaccines, Dr. Bright, Flynn, groceries," 14 May 2020 Despite backlash from some of the largest immigrant justice groups in the country, including protests at some of his campaign events and earlier debates, Biden has stumbled when trying to answer for the Obama administration’s deportation policies. Aída Chávez,, "What Joe Biden Could Learn From Tío Bernie To Get The Latinx Vote," 13 May 2020 Mimi Bell, who owns Bell Barber Company in Savannah, Ga., agonized three weeks ago about whether or not to reopen, due to the public health risks as well as the possible community backlash. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Many Small Businesses Are Reopening. But the Customers Aren’t Necessarily Showing Up," 12 May 2020 The backlash even prompted Teigen, a beloved and prolific Twitter user, to go quiet on the platform. Los Angeles Times, "When Alison Roman insulted Chrissy Teigen: Everything to know about their online spat," 11 May 2020 Regardless, the intense backlash and ridicule of the president overshadowed Bryan’s remarks. NBC News, "Inside the secret DHS lab testing how long coronavirus can survive on shopping carts and in sunlight," 6 May 2020 All of this comes against a backdrop of a rough couple of years, with legal fights, public and corporate backlash over guns and criticism of LaPierre's salary, leadership and extravagant spending habits. CBS News, "NRA lays off dozens and shuts down fundraising amid coronavirus," 4 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for backlash

Time Traveler

The first known use of backlash was in 1815

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Statistics for backlash

Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backlash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for backlash


How to pronounce backlash (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backlash

: a strong public reaction against something

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