adverb or adjective
be·​hind | \ bi-ˈhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio) , bē- \

Definition of behind

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : in the place or situation that is being or has been departed from stay behind
b : in, to, or toward the back look behind came from behind
c : later in time can spring be far behind
2a : in a secondary or inferior position
b : in arrears behind in the rent
c : slow
3 archaic : still to come

Definition of behind (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : in or to a place or situation in back of or to the rear of look behind you put behind bars
b used as a function word to indicate something that screens an observerthe sun went behind a cloud
c : following in order marched behind the band
2 used as a function word to indicate backwardness, delay, or deficiencybehind the timesbehind schedulelagged behind last year's sales
3a : in the background of the conditions behind the strike
b : out of the mind or consideration of put our troubles behind us
c : beyond in depth or time the story behind the story go back behind St. Augustine
4a : in support of : on the side of solidly behind the candidate
b : with the support of won 1–0 behind brilliant pitching


be·​hind | \ ˈbē-ˌhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio) ; bi-ˈhīnd, bē- \

Definition of behind (Entry 3 of 3)

: buttocks often used as a euphemism for ass in idiomatic expressionsget your behind over here

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Synonyms & Antonyms for behind

Synonyms: Adverb or adjective

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adverb or adjective

Antonyms: Preposition

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Examples of behind in a Sentence

Preposition The older students entered the room first with the younger students following behind them. The cat hid behind the couch. The sun went behind a cloud. They were ahead of us by 5 points earlier in the game, but now they're behind us by 7. The polls show that he is behind the other candidates. The company is now behind the competition. He was behind the other students in his studies. Noun kicked him in the behind
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective Fitzgerald was runner-up to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White, just 128 points and 66 first-place votes behind. Creg Stephenson |, al, "If DeVonta Smith wins the Heisman Trophy, how historically significant would it be?," 5 Jan. 2021 Residents behind on utility bills due to the pandemic are eligible for assistance through programs from the city and Summit County. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Akron City Council reaffirms decision to continue water shut-offs during coronavirus pandemic," 5 Jan. 2021 Many people are understandably choosing to leave a lot behind in 2020. Natalie Morin,, "Kelley Flanagan & Peter Weber Addressed Their Sudden Split On Instagram," 4 Jan. 2021 Jefferson first eclipsed New Orleans by two deaths in on Dec. 9 before dropping behind again on Dec. 16. Chad Calder | Staff Writer,, "Total Jefferson Parish coronavirus deaths pull ahead of New Orleans," 2 Jan. 2021 Izzo said moving Watts was borne partly out of the necessity to replace Winston but also because of a knee injury freshman A.J. Hoggard had surgically repaired shortly before the season that left him a bit behind. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State basketball's Tom Izzo: Rocket Watts at shooting guard is best for us now," 2 Jan. 2021 Everyone is off to the Academy to prepare to deal with the Void, but Brina stays behind. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Series Finale Recap: Enter the Void," 1 Jan. 2021 Erick’s two sisters, Janet and Cindy, who were undocumented at the time, stayed behind. Silvia Foster-frau,, "U.S. citizens with deported parents still separated during the holidays," 1 Jan. 2021 Calves trotted behind and put their snouts in the hay. Ian James,, "Climate's toll on the Colorado River: 'We can weather maybe a couple of years'," 1 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Council members, during emotional speeches during its first meeting since the tragic crash, praised Wesch for his behind-the-scenes leadership at Government Plaza since he was appointed the city’s finance director in 2013. al, "Mobile leaders remember chief of staff as ‘consummate professional’," 5 Jan. 2021 The league’s best point guard made a leaping, behind-the-back pass to Looney for another easy score. Rusty Simmons,, "Warriors’ avalanche of assists recalls title teamwork," 4 Jan. 2021 There will be some flashbacks to floats from past parades, and the show has also worked with the Cal Poly universities in Pomona and San Luis Obispo to give a behind-the-scenes look at how a Rose Parade float is built. Michael Schneider,, "How the Rose Parade will look different (and not be a parade) on New Year’s Day 2021," 31 Dec. 2020 Revisiting their time spent together on the set of the successful film franchise, the former castmates reminisced about the films and shared behind-the-scenes stories all these years later. Nicholas Rice,, "Rupert Grint Reveals He Would 'Never Say Never' on Returning to the Harry Potter Universe," 31 Dec. 2020 People mentioning this scenario insisted on anonymity to describe behind-the-scenes conversations. Alan Fram, ajc, "Pelosi likely speaker again, but might require high-wire act," 30 Dec. 2020 Until the early 20th century, the behind-the-scenes spaces under the original floor had been largely buried for years beneath dirt and wild plants. oregonlive, "Ambitious Colosseum restoration in Rome will reveal ancient engineering tricks behind deadly gladiatorial battles," 29 Dec. 2020 Problem is, a 30-30 has been the behind-the-door problem-solving rifle for more than a century. Richard Mann, Field & Stream, "5 Hunting Cartridges You Can Find in an Ammo Shortage," 29 Dec. 2020 In the video below, Erin Krakow gives a behind-the-scenes tour of Hope Valley's most iconic spots, including the saloon and schoolhouse. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Where Is 'When Calls the Heart' Filmed? See How Hallmark Makes Hope Valley Look Like a Real Place," 28 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun By one estimate, up to one-third of those workers – stagehands, camera operators, ticket takers, ushers, food service workers and scores of other behind-scenes employees – were laid off or furloughed by the end of March. USA Today, "2021 has to be better for Hollywood, because it can’t get any worse," 30 Dec. 2020 After an 11-point performance off the bench in a come-from-behind win over Furman, Rojas earned his first start Dec. 19 against Western Kentucky but did not score in 10 minutes on the court. Mike Rodak |, al, "John Petty, James Rojas to return Tuesday vs. Ole Miss," 28 Dec. 2020 In a come-from-behind win over Auburn and a last-second victory against Florida, A&M showed its ability to persevere and overcome adversity, something Fisher had been on a mission to instill in his team since his arrival in College Station. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "3 reasons why Texas A&M could be worse in 2021, including the likely departure of a loaded senior class," 21 Dec. 2020 There’s no denying that was a factor in last week’s come-from-behind win, and playing loose should not be an issue Sunday. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions predictions vs. Green Bay Packers: This will be a tight game," 13 Dec. 2020 Following a dramatic, come-from-behind win over Minnesota in the Western Conference Finals, the Seattle Sounders look to resume their campaign to repeat as MLS Cup champions tonight in Ohio. oregonlive, "Seattle Sounders vs Columbus Crew score updates, odds, time, TV channel, highlights, how to watch MLS Cup Final live online for free (12/12/2020)," 13 Dec. 2020 Clemson turns to backup quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who led a come-from-behind win over Boston College last weekend in his first career start. C.j. Doon,, "College football storylines, Week 10: BYU vs. Boise State is one of the season’s most important games," 6 Nov. 2020 Gebbia suffered his injury in the waning moments of the Beavers’ 41-38 come-from-behind win over the Ducks on Friday night. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Tristan Gebbia’s injury ‘significantly more serious’ than thought, Oregon State Beavers may turn to Chance Nolan vs. Utah," 1 Dec. 2020 No team outside the Power 5 has qualified for a playoff semifinal spot, but Cincinnati may have done enough to catch the attention of the selection committee with an impressive come-from-behind win over an upset-minded UCF team. Matt Murschel,, "Tide, Gators on collision course; Ohio State survives big test | College football report," 23 Nov. 2020

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

Adverb or adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1830, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for behind

Adverb or adjective

Middle English behinde, from Old English behindan, from be- + hindan from behind; akin to Old English hinder behind — more at hind


Middle English behinde, behinden, from behinde, behinden, behind entry 1


noun derivative of behind entry 1

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Time Traveler for behind

Time Traveler

The first known use of behind was before the 12th century

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Statistics for behind

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Behind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for behind


How to pronounce behind (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of behind

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in or toward the back
: in the place that someone is going away from
: later in time

English Language Learners Definition of behind (Entry 2 of 3)

: in or to a place at the back of or to the rear of (someone or something)
: losing to (someone or something) in a race or competition
: in a less advanced position than (someone or something) : not happening or proceeding as quickly as (someone or something)


How to pronounce behind (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of behind (Entry 3 of 3)

informal : the part of the body above the legs that is used for sitting


be·​hind | \ bi-ˈhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio) \

Kids Definition of behind

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in a place that is being or has been left You can leave your books behind.
2 : in, to, or toward the back look behind fall behind
3 : not up to the general level behind in math
4 : not keeping up to a schedule behind in his payments

Kids Definition of behind (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : at or to the back of behind the door
2 : not up to the level of Sales are behind those of last year.
3 : out of the thoughts of Let's put our troubles behind us.
4 : responsible for Who's behind these pranks?
5 : in support of We're behind you all the way!

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Comments on behind

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