Definition of behind in English:

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Pronunciation: /bɪˈhʌɪnd/


1At or to the far side of (something), typically so as to be hidden by it: the recording machinery was kept behind screens the sun came out from behind a cloud
More example sentences
  • Armed commandos had taken position behind bushes on both sides of the road.
  • Follow the road around to the left and the house is located on the right hand side behind the electric gates.
  • She arrives in a great procession at the end in the book - not being coy hidden behind a banner.
at the back of, at the rear of, beyond, on the other side of, on the far side of, on the further side of;
North American  in back of
after, following, to the rear of, in the wake of, at the back of, close on, hard on the heels of, on the trail of
1.1Underlying (something) but not apparent to the observer: the agony behind his decision to retire
More example sentences
  • Parker exposes the vanity, artifice and delusion that stand behind these apparently candid books.
  • What enticed him about the script was the underlying theme behind its premise.
  • At least everyone seemed to appreciate the work we have done on the house - the panic behind it all is never apparent!
2Following or further back than (another member of a moving group): we were stuck behind a slow-moving tractor
More example sentences
  • Catherine began to make her way out of my room, the guards following close behind her.
  • Kevin got up and followed close behind his client as everyone made their way outside.
  • Amy opened the door slightly and slipped into the room, Jessica following close behind her.
2.1At the back of (someone), after they have passed through a door: she ran out of the room, slamming the door behind her
More example sentences
  • When she got into the room she sunk to the floor and the door slammed shut behind her.
  • I couldn't find him one day after he had forced his way underneath the bath and the side panel had closed behind him.
  • He then left the cell, locking it up behind him.
3In support of or giving guidance to (someone else): whatever you decide to do, I’ll be behind you the power behind the throne
More example sentences
  • That level of growth serves the interest of a few and these are the ones who are deemed to be the power behind the throne.
  • We can't do what we do without our listeners getting behind us and supporting us financially.
  • Petitions have been launched in both towns to save the units and today the Gazette throws its support behind the campaign.
supporting, backing, for, on the side of, in agreement with;
3.1Controlling or responsible for (an event or plan): the chances were that he was behind the death of the girl the meticulous organization behind the coup
More example sentences
  • The man behind a controversial plan to site a homeless centre in Clifton is to have a meeting with residents' groups.
  • The developer behind a controversial housing plan has backed down and agreed to carry out major sewer work.
  • They want company bosses behind the plan to visit their villages so they can talk about their concerns.
responsible for, at the bottom of, at the back of, the cause of, the source of, the organizer of;
to blame for, culpable of, guilty of;
causing, instigating, initiating, urging
4After the departure or death of (someone): he left behind him a manuscript which was subsequently published
More example sentences
  • Comedians instinctively understand that to be alive in death they need to leave a trail of emotional debris behind them.
  • He left behind him three daughters, and a son born of the same mother.
  • He left behind him several unpublished manuscripts.
5Less advanced than (someone or something) in achievement or development: the government admitted it is ten years behind the West in PC technology
More example sentences
  • Athletics is several years behind swimming in the development of a coherent structure and a winning mentality.
  • Its development is well behind that of several comparable Asian cities, yet it is one of the most expensive.
  • It has lagged behind other developed countries in setting standards for daily intake.
less advanced than, slower than, weaker than, inferior to
later than, late in relation to, after
6Having a lower score than (another competitor): Woosnam moved to ten under par, five shots behind Fred Couples
More example sentences
  • It's all too easy to go to the US and find yourself 20 shots behind the winner.
  • He was 15 shots behind Phil Mickelson but that was the least of his worries.
  • On level par, Matthew was seven shots behind the leader.


1At or to the far side of something: Campbell grabbed him from behind
More example sentences
  • The unknown attacker grabbed her from behind.
  • She had gone ten or 20 yards past him when he ran up, grabbed her throat from behind and assaulted her.
  • He grabbed her from behind and indecently assaulted her but she managed to fight him off and ran to a nearby house.
2In a particular place after leaving or after others have moved on: don’t leave me behind
More example sentences
  • The package is believed to have been luggage left behind on a train.
  • I know a lot more Bulgarian now and hopefully won't leave my luggage behind anywhere.
  • She ran down the hallway toward the service elevator, leaving her serving cart behind.
afterwards, remaining after departure
3Further back than other members of a moving group: Ben led the way, with Joe a short distance behind
More example sentences
  • He was left well behind but it soon became apparent he had the fastest car in the race.
  • I was following along close behind, not in any great hurry, and I'm glad I did.
  • I followed behind, blushing massively, until we got to school, panting with exhilaration.
after, afterwards, at the back, in the rear, in the wake, at the end, at six o'clock
4(In a contest or match) having a score lower than that of the opposing team: England were still 382 runs behind
More example sentences
  • In truth, Wales should have been 20 points behind and out of the match by half time.
  • He admitted he was not a happy man after seeing his side go behind for the fifth time in the last six games.
  • But he sends his kick just wide of the posts to leave the home side eight points behind.
5Late in accomplishing a task: I’m getting behind with my work
More example sentences
  • So it comes as no surprise that they should have fallen behind in developing a system intended to do the impossible.
  • I'm behind in my classes and buried under papers I haven't started.
  • I feel like I’m behind with everything at the moment.
running late, late, behind schedule, behindhand, delayed, not on time, behind time
5.1In arrears: she was behind with her rent
More example sentences
  • It's hardly surprising if he's behind with his rent and his new landlords have a more profitable venture in mind.
  • The school principal informs Niki that her son will have to leave the school as she's behind with his fees.
  • They're behind with their bills.
in arrears, overdue, in debt, in the red;
late, unpunctual, tardy, behindhand, behind target


1 informal A person’s buttocks: she slid inelegantly down a few steps on her behind
More example sentences
  • Administrative professionals, if they're any good, save their bosses' behinds every day.
  • On a Web site I won't name, people post images they've taken - in public places - of other people's behinds.
  • He explains how much beef today comes not from beef cattle bred to fatten beautifully but from dairy-cross cows, which have distinctly bony behinds and are the byproduct of the calving needed to keep dairy cows in milk year on year.
2 Australian Rules Football A kick that sends the ball over a behind line, or a touch that sends it between the inner posts, scoring one point.
Example sentences
  • In an amazing hour of football stretching over the first, second and third quarters the two teams combined to kick 16 straight behinds.
  • They kicked another two behinds to win the match by eight points.
  • The Roys kicked no goals and 14 behinds to defeat Richmond Union.


Old English behindan, bihindan, from bi 'by' + hindan 'from behind'.

Words that rhyme with behind

affined, bind, blind, find, hind, humankind, interwind, kind, mankind, mind, nonaligned, resigned, rind, unaligned, unassigned, unconfined, undefined, undersigned, undesigned, unlined, unrefined, unsigned, wynd

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: be¦hind

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