behind

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English behinde, behinden, from Old English behindan (on the back side of, behind), equivalent to be- +‎ hind. Compare Old Saxon bihindan (behind, adverb), Middle High German behinter (behind; back).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (preposition, adverb)
    • IPA(key): /bɪˈhaɪnd/, /bəˈhaɪnd/
    • (file)
    • (file)
  • (noun)
  • Hyphenation: be‧hind

Preposition[edit]

behind

  1. At the back of; positioned with something else in front of.
    The car is behind the wall.
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], OCLC 752825175, page 035:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window [], and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, little dreaming that the deadly tube was levelled at them.
    • 2013 July 19, Timothy Garton Ash, “Where Dr Pangloss meets Machiavelli”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 6, page 18:
      Hidden behind thickets of acronyms and gorse bushes of detail, a new great game is under way across the globe. Some call it geoeconomics, but it's geopolitics too. The current power play consists of an extraordinary range of countries simultaneously sitting down to negotiate big free trade and investment agreements.
  2. To the back of. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?)
  3. After, time- or motion-wise.
  4. responsible for
    Who is behind these terrorist attacks?
  5. In support of.
    The republicans are fully behind their candidate.
  6. Left a distance by, in progress or improvement; inferior to.
    I'm ranked sixth in the French class, behind five other pupils.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Bible, 2 Corinthians xi.5:
      I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
  7. (nonstandard, US, slang) As a result or consequence of
    • 2012, DeShawn Dorsey, Longsuffering Through Emotional Wounds, page 40:
      He was like, 'Fuck the police! Fuck you! You know who I am, you gonna quit playing with me, bitch.' I'm like let's go. 'Cause I wasn't trying to go to jail behind that shit.

Synonyms[edit]

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Antonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Adverb[edit]

behind (comparative behinder or more behind, superlative behindest or most behind)

  1. At the back part; in the rear. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?)
    • (Can we date this quote by John Milton?)
      I shall not lag behind.
  2. Toward the back part or rear; backward.
    to look behind
  3. Overdue, in arrears.
    My employer is two paychecks behind on paying my salary.
    I'm two weeks behind in my schedule.
  4. Slow; of a watch or clock.
    My watch is four minutes behind.
  5. existing afterwards
    He left behind a legacy of death and sorrow.
    He stayed behind after the war.
    • (Can we date this quote by William Shakespeare?)
      Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, / And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, / Leave not a rack behind.
  6. Backward in time or order of succession; past.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bible?), Phil. ii. 13
      forgetting those things which are behind
  7. Behind the scenes in a theatre; backstage.
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Vintage 2007, page 68:
      ‘After the performance was over I went behind, and spoke to her.’
  8. (archaic) Not yet brought forward, produced, or exhibited to view; out of sight; remaining.
    • (Can we date this quote by ?)
      We cannot be sure that there is no evidence behind.

Usage notes[edit]

For usage in phrasal verbs, see Category:English phrasal verbs with particle (behind).

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

behind (plural behinds)

  1. the rear, back-end
  2. (informal) butt, the buttocks, bottom
  3. (Australian rules football) A one-point score.
    • 1880. "The Opening Ball" in Comic Australian Verse, ed. G. Lehmann, 1975. Quoted in G. A. Wilkes, A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, second edition, 1985, Sydney University Press, →ISBN.
      A roar from ten thousand throats go up,
      For we've kicked another behind.
  4. (baseball, slang, 1800s) The catcher.
  5. In the Eton College field game, any of a group of players consisting of two "shorts" (who try to kick the ball over the bully) and a "long" (who defends the goal).

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • behind in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • behind in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "Spatial particles of orientation", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8