back 1 of 4

1
as in ago
earlier than the present time that's longer back than I can remember

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Relevance

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back

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noun

1
as in rear
a behind part or surface the back of the page was blank

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2
as in jugular
a vulnerable point a candidate needing a loyal aide who can be relied upon to always watch his back

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back

3 of 4

verb

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as in to reinforce
to provide evidence or information for (as a claim or idea) the author needs to back her thesis with more facts

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back

4 of 4

adjective

as in hind
being at or in the part of something opposite the front part she carried all the presents in the back door, as the children were playing in the front yard

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word back different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of back are advocate, champion, support, and uphold. While all these words mean "to favor actively one that meets opposition," back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling.

refusing to back the call for sanctions

When can advocate be used instead of back?

While the synonyms advocate and back are close in meaning, advocate stresses urging or pleading.

advocated prison reform

Where would champion be a reasonable alternative to back?

The words champion and back are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause.

championed the rights of children

When might support be a better fit than back?

In some situations, the words support and back are roughly equivalent. However, support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given.

supports waterfront development

When is it sensible to use uphold instead of back?

The words uphold and back can be used in similar contexts, but uphold implies extended support given to something attacked.

upheld the legitimacy of the military action

Thesaurus Entries Near back

Cite this Entry

“Back.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/back. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

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