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

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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 Claudia Herrera, the founder of a nonprofit organization that helps families of former military members in Colombia, said a GoFundMe page had been launched to help with the costs of repatriation and support for families left behind. Washington Post, 22 July 2021 Patience herself is already under mountains of debt because of the mess her late con-artist husband left behind. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, 22 July 2021 Flax Pond is one of Cape Cod’s numerous kettle ponds, depressions left behind by retreating glaciers during the Ice Age., 21 July 2021 Some spotty showers and clouds are moving through western parts of the region Wednesday morning, left behind from a round of storms Tuesday evening. Hannah Gard And Monica Garrett, CNN, 21 July 2021 Tuesday night showers poured over the region and even left behind over 6-inches of rain throughout Seminole County, said Spectrum News 13 meteorologist Maureen McCann. Joe Mario Pedersen,, 21 July 2021 When the Bear family moved into this Habitat for Humanity home in March 2019, doors had not been hung, appliances were missing, the main level had a concrete floor and construction crews had left materials behind. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 July 2021 Many have left young children behind; most have other professional obligations back in Texas. Ashraf Khalil, ajc, 16 July 2021 The history-making has become so common, so many would-be competitors left so far behind, that expectations, just like the pictures, are larger than life. Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The gymnasts dressed in the apparel given to Team USA athletes for the ceremonies, and three-time Olympian Sam Mikulak served as a flag bearer with Simone Biles behind him., 24 July 2021 Miller was diagnosed with a type of blood cancer called Philadelphia Chromosome Leukemia one year ago, and his team rallied behind him. Siera Jones, The Courier-Journal, 24 July 2021 In announcing the 2021 rankings Tripadvisor expressed relief about putting 2020 behind it. Lawrence Specker |, al, 23 July 2021 Sue Bird and Eddie Alvarez Carry the American Flag With their fellow Olympians close behind them, Sue Bird and Eddie Alvarez led Team USA during the opening ceremony for the Summer Games. Nicholas Rice,, 23 July 2021 And although emission cuts and green reforms are often mentioned in state media and classrooms, many treat them as just another state policy for local governments to follow, without fully understanding the necessity behind it. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 23 July 2021 Don McTigue, a longtime Democratic elections attorney, declined to say who was behind it. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 23 July 2021 Peralta pitched four innings as the Brewers continue to limit his workload and Houser threw two behind him with three relievers chipping in to shut down the American League Central-leading White Sox. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 July 2021 The wrenching footnote to these delightful clips is that the mastermind behind them, Kilmer’s younger brother Wesley, died at age 15 in a drowning accident, an event that marked the family forever. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 23 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yandy Diaz homered during a four-run rally in the seventh inning and Tampa Bay won in Atlanta, 7-5, its 28th come-from-behind win of the season., 19 July 2021 On Wednesday, Ross was racing again, this time finishing one-tenth of a second behind winner Jason Lamoreaux in the Little Campbell Lake time trial at Kincaid Park. Anchorage Daily News, 2 July 2021 Oosthuizen is coming off a second-place finish - behind Phil Mickelson - at last month’s PGA Championship. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, 20 June 2021 Walsh lined a home run over the wall in right, the first blow in what became a four-run rally that lifted the Angels to a come-from-behind, 5-4 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2021 But according to FairVote, a nonpartisan group that advocates election reform, a come-from-behind win is still possible. Averi Harper, ABC News, 22 June 2021 With a come-from-behind win and her trademark style and confidence on full display, Richardson did just that as a 21-year-old phenom. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, 19 June 2021 West won the state championship with a dramatic, come-from-behind finish that allowed coach John Opinsky to win the final game of his career. Anchorage Daily News, 5 May 2021 East Aurora staged come-from-behind wins and suffered a take-your-breath-away loss to Larkin on a 3-point shot that beat the final buzzer. Rick Armstrong,, 17 Mar. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near behind



behind closed doors

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Statistics for behind

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Behind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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)

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!

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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