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 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 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 expressions get your behind over here

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb or adjective Various studies suggest that many Americans have fallen behind on their essential preventive screenings due to Covid-19. Anand Parekh, STAT, 21 Sep. 2022 Close behind in production are receiver Sky Bell and tight end Clay Cundiff. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 20 Sep. 2022 Prince William and Prince Harry walked behind along with Peter Phillips, son of princess Anne. Jennifer Duggan, Time, 19 Sep. 2022 The Bears had crossed into the 10-yard line on third-and-goal when rookie inside linebacker Quay Walker chased down quarterback Justin Fields from behind short of the pylon. Ryan Wood, USA TODAY, 19 Sep. 2022 Flanking the coffin were pallbearers and royal bodyguards while Charles, his wife, Camilla, the queen consort, and other royals walked behind. Alexander Smith, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2022 But private polling shows Proposition 26 running far behind and likely to lose along with another, vastly different sports betting initiative, Proposition 27. George Skelton, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2022 To prevent a repeat, 90 sailors pull the carriage, while 40 march behind to act as a brake. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2022 Loyola stays right behind in third, going to 6-2-1 for 19 points. Glenn Graham, Baltimore Sun, 19 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The young prince took part in the procession behind his great-grandmother's coffin into Westminster Abbey and was ferried by car between events. Joanna Sugden, WSJ, 20 Sep. 2022 Prince George and Princess Charlotte took part in the royal family procession behind the Queen's coffin as the family made their way down the aisle of Westminster Abbey for the state funeral. Kelsie Gibson, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2022 The royal kids will join the Abbey procession behind the Queen's coffin, sandwiched by their parents Prince William and Princess Kate and their aunt and uncle, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 19 Sep. 2022 All four have helped pave the way for a new wave of Latin producers who are moving from behind the scenes and into the global spotlight. Lucas Villa, Billboard, 19 Sep. 2022 This obstruction mattered: The U.S. had established important connections with people in Europe who could covertly extricate Jews from behind enemy lines, and those contacts were simply waiting for federal support for their work. Dara Horn, The Atlantic, 16 Sep. 2022 In the upper gallery, an oversized image reveals Elbaz peeking out from behind a dark curtain. Sallie Lewis, Vogue, 16 Sep. 2022 The suspect appears to continue watching the victim from behind a utility van for several moments before re-entering the Challenger. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 15 Sep. 2022 In Brooklyn, a black and white photo of chef Sal Lamboglia’s Napolitano grandpa peers out from behind the bar at Cafe Spaghetti, while chef Ayo Balogun’s grandmother watches over the dining room at Nigerian tasting menu spot Dept. of Culture. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 14 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moving the Eagles up a spot in recognition of their come-from-behind win over Noblesville. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 20 Sep. 2022 On Saturday in Ireland, the junior was 27 of 38 with 314 yards, two TDs and no interceptions in a 31-28 come-from-behind win over the Cornhuskers. Michael Marot, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2022 Running back Caden Williams scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter, as the Yellow Jackets earned a come-from-behind win to beat Gardendale (1-1) in the Rockets’ home opener at Driver Stadium. Reports, al, 26 Aug. 2022 The Panthers reached the afternoon final by surviving an elimination game earlier Saturday with a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Post 416 Skyhawks (La Jolla Country Day). Rick Hoff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 July 2022 Acosta, who was available off the bench in the match, didn't factor heavily in the eventual come-from-behind, 1-1 draw following his return to the team from health and safety protocols. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, 12 July 2022 On Monday, in a 12-9 come-from-behind win over Chicago, Gimenez started a six-run rally in the ninth with a home run. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 15 May 2022 This was the season of the comeback for Florida, which had an NHL-best 29 come-from-behind wins during the regular season. Tim Reynolds, Sun Sentinel, 11 May 2022 Ruckert’s most famous play for OSU was a one-handed touchdown catch that sparked the Buckeyes’ come-from-behind win against Wisconsin in the 2020 Big Ten title game. J.p. Pelzman, Forbes, 1 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near behind



behind closed doors

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Statistics for behind

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Behind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for behind


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!

More from Merriam-Webster on behind

Nglish: Translation of behind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behind for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about behind


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