backspace

verb
back·space | \ˈbak-ˌspās \
backspaced; backspacing; backspaces

Definition of backspace 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to move back a space in a text with the press of a key

backspace

noun

Definition of backspace (Entry 2 of 2)

: an instance of backspacing also : the key pressed in backspacing

Examples of backspace in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With nearly 35,000 likes, a viral tweet revealed how to backspace on the iPhone calculator. Max Londberg, kansascity.com, "Viral tweet reveals backspace feature on the iPhone calculator," 6 May 2017 A quick Google search also turned up similar links from several years ago showing users how to swipe on the calculator to backspace. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "iPhone calculator + hidden backspace feature = Internet freakout," 5 May 2017 On Apple’s support page, a user asked how to backspace on the iPhone calculator in 2010. Max Londberg, kansascity.com, "Viral tweet reveals backspace feature on the iPhone calculator," 6 May 2017 The thread explained there is, in fact, a way to backspace on your iPhone calculator by swiping the numbers in black to the left or right. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "People Are Freaking Out After Learning You Can Swipe on the Calculator App," 4 May 2017 Ubuntu (and some other flavors of Linux): Open a Terminal window and run the following line of code: setxkbmap -option caps:backspaceThat's it! Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "How and Why to Make Your Caps Lock Key Useful," 16 Mar. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In an age of instant communication and keyboards with shortcuts and backspaces, using a typewriter may seem archaic. William Axford, Houston Chronicle, "Sugar Land teen receives typewriter from Tom Hanks after reading 'Uncommon Type'," 9 Feb. 2018 A recent study by Leow and Nelson, who is the dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, showed cell phone metadata such as typing speed, spelling errors and using backspace while texting correlate with manic and depressive episodes. Alison Bowen, miamiherald, "Can your iPhone tell if you’re depressed?," 21 June 2017 A recent study by Leow and Nelson, who is the dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, showed cell phone metadata such as typing speed, spelling errors and using backspace while texting correlate with manic and depressive episodes. Alison Bowen, miamiherald, "Can your iPhone tell if you’re depressed?," 21 June 2017 Turns out Johnson wasn't the only one whose mind was blown by this hidden way to backspace. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "People Are Freaking Out After Learning You Can Swipe on the Calculator App," 4 May 2017 A recent study by Leow and Nelson, who is the dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, showed cell phone metadata such as typing speed, spelling errors and using backspace while texting correlate with manic and depressive episodes. Alison Bowen, miamiherald, "Can your iPhone tell if you’re depressed?," 21 June 2017 A recent study by Leow and Nelson, who is the dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, showed cell phone metadata such as typing speed, spelling errors and using backspace while texting correlate with manic and depressive episodes. Alison Bowen, miamiherald, "Can your iPhone tell if you’re depressed?," 21 June 2017 A recent study by Leow and Nelson, who is the dean of the University of Illinois College of Engineering, showed cell phone metadata such as typing speed, spelling errors and using backspace while texting correlate with manic and depressive episodes. Alison Bowen, miamiherald, "Can your iPhone tell if you’re depressed?," 21 June 2017 To find out whether a user might be experiencing a manic or depressive episode, the app tracks typing speed, how hard keys are pressedand the frequency of the use of backspace and spellcheck. Alison Bowen, chicagotribune.com, "Can your iPhone tell if you're depressed?," 25 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backspace.' 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 backspace

Verb

1898, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1912, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near backspace

backslap

backslash

backslide

backspace

backspacer

backspang

backspin

Statistics for backspace

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backspace

The first known use of backspace was in 1898

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More Definitions for backspace

backspace

noun

English Language Learners Definition of backspace

: a key that is pressed on a typewriter or computer keyboard to move back toward the beginning of a line of text

Comments on backspace

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