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 In the fifth inning, the Tigers tied the score, 2-2, only for Manning to put the Tigers behind again. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2022 With the game now tied at 1, Collin McHugh (2-2) fell behind 2-0 in the count before grooving one to Castellanos, who launched a 420-foot drive over the center-field wall for his ninth homer of the season. Paul Newberry, ajc, 3 Aug. 2022 Bringing in a reliever behind in the count isn’t something every manager would do, but Pilots head coach Dave Serrano said a combination of factors led to the decision. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Aug. 2022 In the 2020 Presidential elections, Trump’s vote share was 68.6%, just behind Wyoming (69.9%). Nives Dolsak And Aseem Prakash, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 The problem is that some other things are lagging behind, too. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 Since the iconic musician didn’t leave behind an official dividing his assets, several of his half-siblings have brought suit against his estate to get a piece of his earnings. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 2 Aug. 2022 If given access to this funding, parents won’t let 93% of it sit in a bank account while their children fall behind. Tim Scott, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 Just because those two groups are bringing in elite talent every cycle doesn’t mean everyone else can lag behind. Stephen Means, cleveland, 2 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition The Biden administration is feeling massive public pressure to secure her release, a behind-the-scenes negotiation greatly complicated by the collapse of relations between Washington and Moscow because of the Ukraine war. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 4 Aug. 2022 Ma Rainey's Black Bottom director George C. Wolfe's upcoming biographical film about the openly gay, historically influential figure who, because of his sexuality, largely played a behind-the-scenes role in the fight for racial equality in America. Joey Nolfi,, 4 Aug. 2022 Tuesday morning, the Washington Nationals finally imploded it all, leaving behind an unsettled future and a score of scarred, scrambling parties in their wake. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 3 Aug. 2022 When a textile’s fiber content is less than ideal, some garments can be shredded and reused for behind-the-scenes purposes, such as insulation or upholstery stuffing. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular. Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 Placing certain drugs behind-the-counter implies that they can be purchased only after consulting with a pharmacist. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 In 2022, the toy company expanded its diverse Fashionistas line and added a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a doll with a prosthetic leg, as well as a Ken doll with vitiligo. Skyler Caruso,, 1 Aug. 2022 Streaming live from Grant Park, hosts Jon Weigell and Charlie Cooper met up with a number of artists, including guests both old and new, for a behind-the-scenes look at one of the summer’s best lineups. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Side Tie Bottoms, Dua wears the scrunched style high on her hips, giving the bikini a cheekier fit on the behind. Seventeen, 24 May 2022 Freb grabs one and chases Kate around the stage, whacking her on the behind. Karen Schoemer, SPIN, 1 May 2022 A few weeks later, Zillow creates a brand-new function to pair left-behind citizens with now-vacant houses; the CMS works like a charm, with excellent functionality and zero error messages. Hillary Kelly, The Atlantic, 16 June 2022 That ticked off North Hills, which then took the name North Hills West — west of the 405 Freeway — and that left the left-behind Sepulveda to call itself North Hills East. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2021 Watch a young sprinter claim a fantastic come-from-behind win despite losing a shoe. Terry Baddoo, USA TODAY, 12 May 2022 The IronBirds beat the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, 11-10, for the come-from-behind win at the ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakeside, New Jersey. Randy Mcroberts, Baltimore Sun, 9 Apr. 2022 Rojas, who had nine points after halftime, was a big reason alongside Quinerly for the come-from-behind win, which came three days after Ellis won the hard hat award in the loss to Kentucky. Mike Rodak |, al, 26 Feb. 2022 Rallying for a come-from-behind win in the final minutes, Matthew Stafford and the Rams stormed back to knock off the Cincinnati Bengals and their electric offense, 23-20 in Super Bowl 56. oregonlive, 13 Feb. 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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Behind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 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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