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

The conversation then took a shift, with everyone at the table taking shots at Tristan and demanding that the NBA star start receiving just as much backlash for his actions as Jordyn. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'The View' Host Meghan McCain Gets Heated Over Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson Drama," 27 Feb. 2019 But Kelly's plea for people to vote for Lynnea was met with backlash from fans on social media. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'The Voice' Coach Kelly Clarkson Addresses the Comeback Stage Controversy," 27 Nov. 2018 The authorities on the predominantly Hindu island began to crack down rather than risk a backlash from foreign tourists. New York Times, "Saving Turtles in Bali, Egg by Precious Egg," 7 July 2018 The image was later restored after a backlash from the public. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, "Facebook says removal of Declaration of Independence from Texas newspaper's page was a mistake," 5 July 2018 But the movie also provoked a giant backlash from the middle-class black community, who were incensed by its ghetto stereotypes and glamorization of the drug economy. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Superfly rolls back the clock on African-American movie heroes," 21 June 2018 His season saw backlash from critics and viewers who voiced difficulty in separating the person from the star. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Bachelor' Franchise Controversies: A Timeline of Bad Behavior and Scandal," 18 June 2018 But such taxes can face a backlash from the business community. Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, "Employment tax in Silicon Valley city could spur small firms to move jobs," 13 June 2018 During the 30-minute interview, Shaw pressed Lewis on his plan for JCPS, support for charter schools and backlash from the Jefferson County community. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS takeover: five things you missed from Wayne Lewis' KET interview," 8 June 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

12 Mar 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).


of or relating to a parable or parabola

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