behind

1 of 3

adverb or adjective

be·​hind bi-ˈhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio)
bē-
1
a
: 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
2
a
: in a secondary or inferior position
b
: in arrears
behind in the rent
c
: slow
3
archaic : still to come

behind

2 of 3

preposition

1
a
: 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 observer
the sun went behind a cloud
c
: following in order
marched behind the band
2
used as a function word to indicate backwardness, delay, or deficiency
behind the times
behind schedule
lagged behind last year's sales
3
a
: 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
4
a
: in support of : on the side of
solidly behind the candidate
b
: with the support of
won 1–0 behind brilliant pitching

behind

3 of 3

noun

be·​hind ˈbē-ˌhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio)
bi-ˈhīnd,
bē-
: buttocks
often used as a euphemism for ass in idiomatic expressions
get your behind over here

Examples of behind in a Sentence

Adverb or adjective the required work was behind, so now we're running late 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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb or adjective
In an emergency, travelers should leave all their belongings behind, as bags and other items could block exits or slow people down on their way to the door. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 22 May 2024 This time around, Legend, Chance the Rapper, and Dan + Shay are leaving their chairs behind. Raechal Shewfelt, EW.com, 22 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for behind 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'behind.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb or adjective

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

Preposition

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

Noun

noun derivative of behind entry 1

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

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

Preposition

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

Noun

circa 1830, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near behind

Cite this Entry

“Behind.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/behind. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

behind

1 of 2 adverb or adjective
be·​hind bi-ˈhīnd How to pronounce behind (audio)
1
a
: in a place or time that is being or has been departed from
stay behind
left years of poverty behind
b
: at, to, or toward the back
look behind
fall behind
2
a
: not up to the general level
behind in school
b
: not keeping up to a schedule
behind in the car payments

behind

2 of 2 preposition
1
: at, to, or toward the back of
look behind you
a garden behind the house
2
: not up to the level of
sales are behind those of last year
behind the rest of the class
3
a
: in the background of
the reasons behind our success
b
: in support of
we're behind you all the way

More from Merriam-Webster on behind

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