1. rearward, towards the back, in reverse, vice versa, upside down, topsyturvy, inside out, back in front; crablike, retrocessive-ly, retrogressively, regressively, Scot, and North. Eng. backlins; Naut. aback, Naut. abaft, Naut. aft, Naut. astern, Naut. sternward.
2. thoroughly wrong, totally confused, Sl. arsy-varsy, Sl. assbackwards, Sl. bassackwards.
3. backward and forward
Informal. a. thoroughly, completely, perfectly, inside out, from A to Z.b. to and fro, back and forth, in and out.c.(of persons) wavering, vacillating, indecisive, undecided.
4. reversed, reverse, opposite, vice versa, topsy-turvy, upside-down, inside-out, inverse, mirror, counter-clockwise, Brit. anticlockwise; returning, recessive, receding, ebbing, refluent, retrocessive, retrograde, regressive, retrogressive, reversionary, counterproductive; retrospective.
5. lapsing, relapsing, recidivistic, recidivous, atavistic.
6. slow, laggard, tardy, late, behindhand, remiss, slack; undeveloped, underdeveloped, unprogressive, unsophisticated, rustic, backwoods, Inf. rinky-dink; inapt, inept, foolish, silly, fatuous, moronic, imbecile, idiotic, stupid, asinine, Sl. arsy-varsy, senseless, irrational; slow-witted, dull, simple, feeble-minded, witless, doltish, Boeotian, uncultured, unintelligent, Sl. soft, Rare. insulse.
7. bashful, shy, coy, demure, shrinking, retiring, timid, hesitant; disinclined, Scot. loathful, loath, averse, reluctant, chary, wavering; unconsenting, unwilling, opposed, antipathetical, protesting, balky, restive, uncomplying, noncompliant; perverse, refractory, unruly, unamenable, unyielding, recalcitrant, obdurate, stubborn, wayward, mulish, pigheaded, reni-tent, pervicacious, contumacious.

A Note on the Style of the synonym finder. 2014.

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  • backward — backward, retrograde, retrogressive, regressive all involve the idea of not moving or going ahead, or forward, or in advance. Only when applied to motion or a movement does backward imply the reverse of forward motion {a backward thrust of a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • backward — backward, backwards 1. For the adverb, both forms are in use, although backward is somewhat more common in AmE and backwards in BrE: • Talk ran backward from the events of the morning A. Munro, CanE 1987 • I walked backward to look at her in the… …   Modern English usage

  • Backward — Back ward, a. 1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances. [1913 Webster] 2. Unwilling; averse; reluctant; hesitating; loath. [1913 Webster] For wiser brutes were backward to be slaves. Pope. [1913 Webster] 3. Not well advanced in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, Backwards Back wards, adv. [Back, adv. + ward.] 1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride backward. [1913 Webster] 2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms backward. [1913 Webster] 3. On the back, or with… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — [adj1] toward the rear astern, behind, inverted, rearward, regressive, retrograde; concept 581 Ant. ahead, forward, to the front backward [adj2] bashful afraid, averse, demure, diffident, disinclined, hesitant, hesitating, humble, indisposed,… …   New thesaurus

  • backward — [bak′wərd] adv. [ME bakward, for abakward < abak (< OE on bæc, back) + ward (< OE weard, toward)] 1. toward the back or rear; behind 2. with the back or rear foremost 3. in reverse [to spell a word backward] 4. in a way contrary to the… …   English World dictionary

  • backward — (adv.) c.1300, from abakward, from O.E. on bæc (see BACK (Cf. back) (adv.)) + weard adj./adv. suffix (see WARD (Cf. ward)). O.E. had the adverb bæcling. As an adjective, from 1550s. Meaning behindhand with regard to progress is first attested… …   Etymology dictionary

  • backward — ► ADJECTIVE 1) directed behind or to the rear. 2) having made less progress than is normal or expected. ● not backward in Cf. ↑not backward in DERIVATIVES backwardly adverb backwardness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Backward — Back ward, n. The state behind or past. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] In the dark backward and abysm of time. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Backward — Back ward, v. t. To keep back; to hinder. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backward — I adjective arrested, behindhand, belated, dallying, defected, delayed, delaying, dilatory, impeded, late, mentally deficient, overdue, procrastinating, regressive, retarded, retroactive, retrograde, reversed, slow, subnormal, tardy, untimely II… …   Law dictionary

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