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

behind

preposition

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

behind

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for behind

Synonyms: Adverb or adjective

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

Synonyms: Preposition

abaft, back of

Synonyms: Noun

backside, booty (also bootie) [slang], bottom, breech, bum, buns, butt, buttocks, caboose, can, cheeks, derriere (or derrière), duff, fanny, fundament, hams, haunches, heinie [slang], hunkers, keister (also keester) [slang], nates, posterior, rear, rear end, rump, seat, tail, tail end, tush [slang]

Antonyms: Adverb or adjective

early, inopportune, precocious, premature, unseasonable, untimely

Antonyms: Preposition

before

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The blizzard was blamed for hundreds of vehicle crashes in Minnesota and left behind 25 inches of snow (63.5 centimeters) in northeast South Dakota. Dave Kolpack, The Seattle Times, "Spring snowstorm buries Midwest, tornadoes possible in South," 12 Apr. 2019 This announcement comes two weeks after the brand announced Barbara Palvin and Alexina Graham had received the coveted openings left behind by Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Leomie Anderson Is The Newest Victoria's Secret Angel," 4 Apr. 2019 Ginger Spice) just posted the most exciting Instagram video—a behind-the-scenes look at her preparing for the Spice Girls reunion tour this spring. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Geri Horner Dances to an Iconic Spice Girls Track in This Sneak Peek," 9 Apr. 2019 No mold in sight, and no drink remnants left behind. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Reusable Straw Has a Genius Cleaning Hack That’ll Blow Your Mind," 4 Apr. 2019 Tickets to the event will include a full day of programming, a behind-the-scenes look at publishing at Random House (where all your favorite books come from), a tote full of goodies, and more. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Here's the Self-Care Summit Every Book Lover Needs," 6 Mar. 2019 And judging by behind-the-scenes photos Christina's been posting, Ant will be making plenty of appearances on her now show as well. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Here's Your First Look at Christina El Moussa's Wedding Ring," 2 Jan. 2019 Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how Amazon made its choice, plus some thoughts on the aftermath of the nationwide search, which some saw as a stunt. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Who will Facebook fire after a damning New York Times investigation?," 15 Nov. 2018 What kind of aftershocks did her exit leave behind? Brendan Kiley, The Seattle Times, "She’s baaaack: Nora makes an ambivalent return in ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ at Seattle Rep," 25 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There's been a huge increase in complaints about vehicles behind left behind to clog up Louisville streets. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville is littered with abandoned cars, and residents aren't happy," 7 June 2018 On Saturday, three clowns chatted with one another, finally making their way out the door, hopping into a small sedan and leaving Easley's behind. Brieanna J Frank, azcentral, "Clowns, customers say goodbye: Easley's Fun Shop shutting its doors after 72 years," 8 Apr. 2018 Entertainment Tonight posted an Instagram story video of the couple during their red carpet interview, and fans pointed out Biel holding onto her hubby's behind during the Q&A. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "All of Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake's Adorable PDA Moments From the Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 The photo, taken from behind, shows Nathan sitting next to Justin in NYC's Barclays Center, both wearing baseball caps over their matching shoulder-length blond 'dos. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Hailey Baldwin Posts Flirty Instagram Comment About Justin Bieber," 6 Aug. 2018 Avid anglers move around, drill multiple holes in the ice with lightweight augers, and use pull-behind shacks. Brendan Leonard, Outside Online, "20 Things That Take Longer Than the Nose Ascent," 18 June 2018 Just as one girl stood up to share some of her thoughts, Michelle crept through the door and hugged her from behind — and the room erupted into tears and squeals of disbelief. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Watch Michelle Obama and Oprah Surprise a Group of Unsuspecting High School Girls," 13 Nov. 2018 In a rare moment of behind-the-scenes access, two Times journalists were permitted to sit in on a policy meeting whose attendees included Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey as well as the site’s safety team. Aja Romano, Vox, "Twitter is planning to draft a policy on “dehumanizing speech”," 11 Aug. 2018 Those shopping bags on the floor, sent by the German artist Maria Eichhorn, are filled with empty tea boxes, plastic water bottles, and chewing gum wrappers discarded by people installing the show, a kind of behind-the-scenes gallery diary. Joseph Giovannini, New York Times, "Swiss Institute Has a New Home Ready-Made for Art," 28 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of behind

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

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

Preposition

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

Noun

noun derivative of behind entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about behind

Statistics for behind

Last Updated

2 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for behind

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for behind

behind

adverb

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

behind

preposition

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)

behind

noun

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

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

behind

adverb
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

behind

preposition

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!

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on behind

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with behind

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for behind

Spanish Central: Translation of behind

Nglish: Translation of behind for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of behind for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about behind

Comments on behind

What made you want to look up behind? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!