be·hind | \bi-ˈhīnd, 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 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 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; bi-ˈhīnd, bē-\

Definition of behind (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for behind

Synonyms: Adverb or adjective

behindhand, belated, delinquent, late, latish, overdue, tardy

Synonyms: Preposition

after, below, following, next to, past

Synonyms: Noun

backside, bottom, breech, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, can, cheeks, derriere (or derrière), duff, fanny, hams, haunches, hunkers, posterior, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tail end

Antonyms: Adverb or adjective

early, inopportune, precocious, premature, unseasonable, untimely

Antonyms: Preposition

ahead of, before, ere, of, previous to, prior to, to

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Examples of behind in a Sentence


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.


kicked him in the behind
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective

The Orioles, for the second straight night, nearly rallied for a rare come-from-behind win. Jon Meoli,, "Tanner Scott can't close the door, and Orioles open series with 5-4 loss to Rangers," 14 July 2018 The Bruins opened the 2017 season with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Texas A&M on national TV and followed it with a win over Hawaii. Matt Murschel,, "New coach Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins are No. 45 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 13 July 2018 Perisic jumped and from behind raised his left boot over Walker's head to poke the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from about 7.5 yards for his fourth World Cup goal, including two in this tournament. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, "Croatia will make its first-ever appearance in World Cup final," 12 July 2018 Frustrated Rebic clips Young from behind, giving away a free kick on the left touch line. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Croatia Digs Deeper, Burying England’s World Cup Dreams," 12 July 2018 The Croats made history this week by advancing to their first World Cup final ever with a heroic come-from-behind victory over England in -what else- extra time for the third consecutive match. Juan Pimiento,, "Ronaldo's shock transfer, the World Cup semis and the best of the week in soccer," 12 July 2018 Walker attempted to clear diving header but Perisic jumped and from behind raised his left boot over Walker’s head to poke the ball past goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from about 8 yards. Ronald Blum,, "Croatia reaches first World Cup final," 11 July 2018 Riley and Schilling’s suit was filed days after Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide in the shooting death of Rose, who was unarmed and fleeing from a car when he was shot from behind. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Officer who shot Antwon Rose is accused of past civil rights violations," 5 July 2018 In the battle for the first company to reach and sustain $1 trillion in stock-market value, don’t count out a come-from-behind victory. Shira Ovide, The Seattle Times, "Amazon closes in on Apple in the $1 trillion market-value stakes," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In another, the singer's behind is on full display at the beach. Ashley Iasimone, Billboard, "Beyonce & JAY-Z Pose Nude in Intimate On the Run II Tour Book Photos," 10 June 2018 These movies are like comets that arrive tail-first: The fiery streak of advertising momentum is dazzling; the big rock trailing behind is almost an afterthought. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "Review: Ocean's 8 Boasts a Great Cast But Lacks Champagne-Bubble Lightness," 9 June 2018 The teenager left behind was Jaylyn, who staggered and collapsed, according to the affidavit. Paul Duggan, Washington Post, "A dispute at school, a shooting later and one D.C. teen accused of killing another," 31 May 2018 Schrade believes Sirhan couldn’t have killed his friend because an autopsy report showed RFK was shot from near point-blank range from behind and eyewitnesses saw Sirhan standing in front of Kennedy. Michael Levenson,, "RFK’s children divided over calls for a fresh investigation of his assassination," 31 May 2018 And in Group G, Belgium beat England 1-0 to win the group and advance to the tougher side of the knockout bracket, while Tunisia exited on a high note, coming from behind to beat Panama 2-1. Grant Wahl,, "World Cup Group Stage Ends With All Eyes on Fair Play, Unusual Battle for First," 28 June 2018 Besides being an incredibly talented rapper, Iggy Azalea often makes headlines for her insane behind. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Iggy Azalea & Tyga's 'Kream' Video Has a Lot of Cash & a Lot of Booty: Watch," 6 July 2018 As a lieutenant in the Battle of Bladensburg, Key and his men, got their behinds whooped on the battlefield by the Colonial Marines—runaway American slaves, who fought as sailors and soldiers for the British in return for their freedom. Felice León, The Root, "The National Anthem Is Racist, and We Made a Video in Case You Forgot," 4 July 2018 There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes in making a smooth show and not having us step on each other’s toes. Sam Donnellon,, "A.J. Mleczko, NHL broadcasting pioneer, leaves chauvinists little to complain about," 8 May 2018

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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Statistics for behind

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for behind

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

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More Definitions for behind



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)



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

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


be·hind | \bi-ˈhīnd \

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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