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un- +‎ backed


unbacked (comparative more unbacked, superlative most unbacked)

  1. (not comparable) Having no back.
    an unbacked bench
  2. Not supported or backed up (by someone or something).
    Synonym: unsupported
    • 1609, Thomas Heywood, Troia Britanica: or, Great Britaines Troy[2], London: W. Iaggard, Canto 14, stanza 103, p. 381:
      The warlike Wench amongst the Greekes doth stand
      Vnbackt by Troy, left of her Damsels all,
      The battery of a thousand swords she bides,
      Till her yron plates are hew’d off from her sides.
    • 1954, William Golding, Lord of the Flies:
      The simple statement, unbacked by any proof but the weight of Ralph’s new authority, brought light and happiness.
      New York: Perigee, Chapter 2, p. 35,[3]
    • 1962, Doris Lessing, “Free Women: 2”, in The Golden Notebook[4], New York: Bantam, published 1979, page 306:
      This was an intellectual decision, unbacked by moral energy.
  3. Having no (or few) backers.
    an unbacked racehorse
    a largely unbacked fundraising project
  4. (obsolete, not comparable) Of an animal: never having been ridden or not accustomed to being ridden; not (currently) being ridden.
    Synonym: unbroken
    • 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene i]:
      [] like unback’d colts, they prick’d their ears,
      Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses
      As they smelt music:
    • 1646, John Suckling, Fragmenta Aurea[5], London: Humphrey Moseley, page 71:
      [] a well wayed horse will safely convay thee to thy journeys end, when an unbackt Filly may by chance give thee a fall:
    • 1753, William Hogarth, chapter 17, in The Analysis of Beauty[6], London: for the author, page 140:
      [] whoever has seen a fine arabian war-horse, unback’d and at liberty, and in a wanton trot, cannot but remember what a large waving line his rising, and at the same time pressing forward, cuts through the air;
    • 1823, Mary Shelley, Valperga, London: G. and W.B. Whittaker, Volume 2, Chapter 10, p. 237,[7]
      [] having visited his charger which was to be led unbacked to the field, he mounted a black palfrey;
    • 1890, Rudyard Kipling, “The Incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney”, in Mine Own People[8], New York: Manhattan Press, page 176:
      Shakbolt must have had apoplexy at the thought of his ramping war-horses answering to that description. He used to buy unbacked devils, and tame them by starvation.
  5. (photography, holography) (of a plate) Not having an antihalation backing.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Franz Ross and Elizabeth Yerkes (eds.), Holography Marketplace, Berkeley, CA: Ross Books, 2nd ed., 1991, p. 217.[1]