Share this entry

back
American English: /bæk/
British English: /bak/

Translation of back in Spanish:

noun

  • 1 countable (Anatomy) (of human)
    (of animal)
    he was lying on his back
    estaba tumbado boca arriba
    I fell on my back
    me caí de espaldas
    he was flat on his back for a month
    estuvo un mes en cama sin moverse
    he was standing with his back to the door
    estaba (de pie) de espaldas a la puerta
    you break your back working and …
    te deslomas or te partes el lomo trabajando y …
    while my back was turned he went and told the boss
    fue y se lo contó al jefe a mis espaldas
    I was glad to see the back of him
    me alegré de que se fuera
    behind somebody's backthey laugh at him behind his back
    se ríen de él a sus espaldas
    they went behind my back and wrote to him
    le escribieron sin consultarme or sin mi autorización
    on the back of somebody/something
    a costa de alguien/algo
    to be on somebody's back [colloquial]
    estarle encima a alguien
    I had the boss on my back
    tenía al jefe encima
    just get off my back!
    déjame en paz [colloquial]
    to break the back of a job
    hacer la parte más difícil de un trabajo
    to get o put somebody's back up [colloquial]
    irritar a alguien
    to put one's back into something
    poner empeño en algo
    to turn one's back on somebody
    volverle la espalda a alguien
    she turned her back on her family
    le volvió la espalda a su familia
    scratch 2 1 4
    Example sentences
    • At times I was unable to walk and had severe pain in the lower back, neck and shoulders all the time.
    • I smiled, putting one hand on his shoulder and tapping the back of some tall guy in front of us.
    • They were leaning on each other's shoulders, with their backs to the tombstone.
    Example sentences
    • They are similar to large mousetraps and are designed to break the back of an animal.
    • I wonder who can tell me what you would call that ugly animal with a great big hump on its back that is condemned to live in a desert.
    • Fences were put up, but shelter and feed were lacking; during the harsh winters, snow would pile high on the animals' backs.
  • 2 countable 2.1 (of chair)
    (of dress, jacket)
    (of electrical appliance, watch)
    2.2 (reverse side — of envelope, photo)
    (— of head)
    parte (feminine) posterior or de atrás
    (— of hand)
    the back of the neck
    la nuca
    read the instructions on the back
    lea las instrucciones al dorso
    on the back of an envelope
    en forma improvisada
    Example sentences
    • Charlton and Pegg said they weren't taking any chances and moved to the back of the plane.
    • With the radiator out of the way now it was time to move on to the back of the truck and the motherboard mounting.
    • The supermodel and her companion then stood up and moved to the back of the bar.
    Example sentences
    • Some of the messages written on the back of the tulip postcards are so sweet and encouraging.
    • I have a series of photos of the family that I like very much because someone wrote on the backs of them describing the subject and where the photo was taken.
    • When police examined his car, left on the motorway, they found a note written on the back of a bus timetable.
    2.3back to frontyour sweater is on back to front
    te has puesto el suéter al revés
    no, you've got it back to front: she asked him out hand 1 2
    Example sentences
    • With low backs and plunging necklines, this fashion has become more and more popular among teenagers and adults alike and local swimwear stores say sales are booming.
    • For evening, the collection is a procession of gathers, plunging necklines and backs, irregular lines.
    • The offensive slogan is written is written in letters six inches high on the back of the garment.
    Example sentences
    • Their legs were tucked up in front of them, and their arms rested over the back of the chair.
    • He has poured himself a glass of champagne and put his arm around her, resting his hand on the back of her wooden chair.
    • His ancestors were cobblers but diversified into making vividly embroidered leather bags, wallets and chair backs.
  • 3 countable or uncountable (rear part) See examples: the back of the hall
    el fondo de la sala
    the back of the car
    la parte trasera or de atrás del coche
    the back of the house
    la parte de atrás de la casa
    a truck ran into the back of me
    un camión me chocó por detrás
    at the back of the drawer
    en el fondo del cajón
    we sat at the back
    nos sentamos al fondo
    I'll sit in the back (of car)
    yo me siento detrás or (en el asiento de) atrás
    there's a yard at the back
    hay un patio atrás
    we stood at the back of the line
    nos pusimos al final de la cola
    (in) back of the sofa (American English)
    detrás del sofá
    he's out back in the yard (American English)
    está en el patio, al fondo
    in the back of beyond
    quién sabe dónde, en el quinto pino (Spain) [colloquial]
  • 4 countable (Sport)
    zaguero, (-ra) (masculine, feminine)
    Example sentences
    • In the first two games, the defensive backs seemed indecisive, perhaps the result of playing off receivers.
    • He still can shadow the game's best receivers and is an excellent role model for the team's young defensive backs.
    • The team's defensive backs no longer are being picked on.

adjective (before noun, no comparative)

  • 1 (at rear)
    (seat/wheel)
    de atrás
    (garden/yard/room/door)
    de atrás
    the back row
    la última fila
    Example sentences
    • Even on Sundays, people would be looking at cars and have full view into our back garden.
    • No doubt he steered clear of the back garden view as night fell on Caledonian Stadium.
    • The master bedroom is painted in cream and has great views of the colourful back garden.
  • 2 (of an earlier date) See examples: back copy o number o issue
    número (masculine) atrasado
  • 3 (Linguistics)
    (vowel)
    Example sentences
    • Back vowels have their name because the sound resonates at the back of the mouth.
    • Canadian back vowels are pronounced with the tongue bunched slightly.
    • Finnish is well known for possessing a front-back vowel harmony system.

adverb

  • 1 (indicating return, repetition) See examples: he invited me back for coffee
    me invitó a volver a su casa a tomar un café
    we can get there and back in an hour
    podemos ir y volver en una hora
    the journey back
    el viaje de vuelta
    I'll be back by eight o'clock
    estaré de vuelta para las ocho
    volveré antes de las ocho
    Edwin is back from Paris
    Edwin ha vuelto de París
    it's back to work on Monday
    el lunes hay que volver al trabajo
    John is back in Toronto
    John ha vuelto a Toronto
    the Democrats are back in power
    los demócratas han vuelto al poder
    long hair is back (in fashion)
    vuelve (a estar de moda) el pelo largo
    meanwhile, back at the house … to run/fly back
    volver corriendo/en avión
    I'll drive you back
    te llevo de vuelta en coche
    we arrived back in Cambridge tired but happy
    regresamos a Cambridge cansados pero contentos
    she came back out
    volvió a salir
    I'll mail it back
    lo devolveré por correo
    lo mandaré de vuelta por correo
    he asked for the ring back
    pidió que le devolviera el anillo
    he lapsed back into a coma
    volvió a caer en coma
    see alsogo back take back
  • 2 (in reply, reprisal) See examples: hang up and I'll call you back
    cuelga, que yo te llamo
    he slapped her and she slapped him back
    él la abofeteó y ella le devolvió la bofetada
  • 3 3.1 (backward) See examples: we forced the enemy further back
    obligamos al enemigo a retroceder
    take two steps back
    da dos pasos atrás
    shoulders back, chest out
    hombros hacia atrás, sacando pecho
    to travel back in time
    viajar hacia atrás en el tiempo
    3.2 (toward the rear) we can't hear you back here
    aquí atrás no te oímos
    the British runner is back in sixth place
    el corredor británico está en sexta posición
    see alsohold back keep back
    Example sentences
    • The foreshortened platform encouraged the actors to move back toward the scenic area of the stage.
    • Is it not better to take one step in the right direction than two back into destruction.
    • Nichole was jerked back towards Tristan as he grabbed the wrist on her other arm.
  • 4 (in, into the past) See examples: I bought it back in 1972
    lo compré (ya) en 1972
    it happened a few years back
    pasó hace unos años
    we didn't have television back in those days
    en aquellos tiempos no teníamos televisión
    I first mentioned it as far back as last June
    lo mencioné por primera vez ya en junio
    further back than the 14th century
    antes del siglo XIV
    that's the furthest back I can remember
    no recuerdo nada anterior a eso
    back in the day
    en el pasado

transitive verb

  • 1 1.1 (support)
    (person/decision/claim)
    1.2 (Finance)
    (loan/bill)
    1.3 (bet money on)
    (horse/winner/loser)
    apostar por
    Example sentences
    • It takes the pressure off and you can be more selective about which races you back horses in.
    • Then again, no horse as won the Melbourne Cup two years in a row, and I backed the winning horse this year.
    • It gives viewers good idea of the factors that go into backing successful racehorses
    Example sentences
    • And the Executive has still not committed to backing the project financially.
    • Such appeals, backed by suitable financial compensation, can be very effective.
    • Against the odds he set up the choir, financially backed by Manchester city council.
  • 2 (reverse) See examples: he backed the car out of the garage
    sacó el coche del garaje dando marcha atrás or (Colombia) (Mexico) en reversa
  • 3 (stiffen)
    (line)
    Example sentences
    • Candlestick stems are topped with silk shades, wall lights are backed with Venetian mirrors and slender brass stems are capped by plated shades.
    • The large mirror was backed with silver.
    • This is a thin film that's been coated onto a flexible plastic material backed by a strong glue.
  • 4 (lie behind) See examples: a beach backed by tall pine trees
    una playa bordeada de altos pinos
    a house backed by open fields
    una casa cuyo fondo da a campo abierto
  • 5 (Music)
    Example sentences
    • Central Band's rhythm section also backed singer/songwriter Drew McAlister and the horn section joined in with The Choirboys.
    • This track's got it all: rhythmic, sharp guitar riffs backed by pounding kick drum and throbbing bass - and the cowbell!
    • Yep, aggressive lyrics and guitar riffs, all backed by the trademark thumping drums, with only moments of calm to provide a respite from the headbanging.

intransitive verb

  • 1.1 (move backward)
    (person)
    (vehicle/driver)
    dar marcha atrás
    echar or meter reversa (Colombia) (Mexico)
    he backed into a lamppost
    se dio contra una farola al dar marcha atrás or (Colombia) (Mexico) al meter reversa
    1.2
    (wind) (en sentido contrario al de las agujas del reloj)
    Example sentences
    • With winds backing to the south and the southwest the fall-out from nuclear explosions would be driven into Afghanistan and China.
    • But when the wind is backed slightly towards the northwest the winds come over a longer stretch of the North Sea bringing more cloud.
    Example sentences
    • She backed away from him, walking a short distance away.
    • Kiara slowly backed away from the door and walked towards her desk.
    • The government has backed away from announcing changes to its controversial policy in a move that has angered both farming and green groups.

Phrasal verbs

back away

verb + adverb
to back away from something
evitar algo
to back away from trouble/confrontation
evitar problemas/confrontaciones

back down

verb + adverb
echarse para atrás

back off

verb + adverb
1.1back away 1.2 (keep distance) [slang]

back on to

verb + adverb + preposition + object
the house backs on to the river
el fondo de la casa da al río

back out

verb + adverb
1.1 (withdraw)
echarse para atrás
it's too late to back out now
ya es demasiado tarde para volverse atrás or echarse para atrás
to back out of somethingthey backed out of the deal
no cumplieron el trato
1.2 (Cars)
salir dando marcha atrás
salir en reversa (Colombia) (Mexico)
to back out of the garage
salir del garaje dando marcha atrás or (Colombia) (Mexico) en reversa

back up

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (support)
(person/efforts)
he backed up his theory with hard facts
presentó hechos concretos que respaldan su teoría
her account is backed up by evidence
hay pruebas que respaldan or confirman su versión
1.2 (Computing)
(file)
hacer una copia de seguridad de
1.3 (reverse) See examples: to back up the car
dar marcha atrás (con el coche)
echar or meter reversa (Colombia) (Mexico)
2verb + adverb 2.1
(driver/car)
dar marcha atrás
echar or meter reversa (Colombia) (Mexico)
2.2 (form tailback) See examples: the traffic was backed up as far as …
la cola or la caravana de coches se extendía hasta …

Definition of back in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

QUIZ


    Next Score:
    Word of the day exemplum
    Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
    noun
    an example or model...
    Cultural fact of the day

    rastro

    In some parts of Spain, the name given to a weekly open-air flea market where all kinds of items are sold is a rastro. The name El Rastro as such refers to a very big market of this type held in Madrid at weekends.