Share this entry

Share this page

backseat driver

Syllabification: back·seat driv·er
Pronunciation: /ˌbaksēt ˈdrīvər
 
/

Definition of backseat driver in English:

noun

1A passenger in a car who gives the driver unwanted advice.
Example sentences
  • I would need a sound proof partition for my passengers, though - I can't stand back seat drivers.
  • I can't stand back-seat drivers… even worse, passenger-seat drivers.
1.1A person who is eager to advise without responsibility.
Example sentences
  • ‘I'll be in the driving seat because it's the only seat to be in,’ he answered a conference delegate who pointedly asked what the candidates thought of back-seat drivers.
  • She failed to appreciate that the term ‘back-seat driver’, in most people's eyes, was pejorative: she thought it merely indicated helpfulness, whereas others saw it as meddling and controlling.
  • After all, remember how he once described critics as back-seat drivers facing the wrong way, and certainly critics are usually pretty good on the past, moderately good on the present, and helpless and hopeless for the future.

Derivatives

backseat driving

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Whatever assessment one makes of the term of a leader who has enjoyed a long and mostly undisturbed innings, it is less easy to forgive back-seat driving designed to sabotage his or her successor.
  • How many of us love back-seat driving, even when we love the people who're doing it more than life itself?
  • But back-seat drivers and back-seat driving are variations of the same expression.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day resilient
Pronunciation: rəˈzilyənt
adjective
able to recoil or spring back into shape…