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Backward   /bˈækwərd/   Listen
Backward

adjective
1.
Directed or facing toward the back or rear.
2.
(used of temperament or behavior) marked by a retiring nature.
3.
Retarded in intellectual development.  Synonyms: feebleminded, half-witted, slow-witted.
4.
Having made less than normal progress.



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"Backward" Quotes from Famous Books



... very few of those pleasant hours which he had anticipated on his journey homewards. He had had no heart to go to his club, and he had fancied that Colonel Osborne had been a little backward in looking him up, and providing him with amusement. He had suggested this to his wife, and she had told him that the Colonel had been right not to come to Manchester Street. "I have told Emily," said Lady Rowley, "that she must not meet him, and she is quite of the ...
— He Knew He Was Right • Anthony Trollope

... which was, during a long time, current in Russia. This Russian skin-money had a truly representative character, as the parcels were used instead of the skins from which they were cut; the skins themselves being too bulky and heavy to be constantly carried backward and forward, only a little piece was cut off, to figure as a token of possession of the whole skin. The ownership of the skin was proved when the ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... all hope had fled, Madame de Mussidan fell backward upon the couch, while Sabine, unable to listen to any more terrible revelations, had crept into her own chamber. The Count was about to leave the drawing-room, when a servant entered, bearing a letter on ...
— Caught In The Net • Emile Gaboriau

... head are, the great width and elongation of the face, the depth of the molar region, the branches of the lower jaw being very deep and extending far backward, and the comparative smallness of the cranial portion; the eyes are very large, and said to be like those of the Enche-eko, a bright hazel; nose broad and flat, slightly elevated towards the root; the muzzle ...
— Lectures and Essays • T.H. Huxley

... Mrs. Gray half staggered backward, for never before had she heard Mrs. Browning speak with such intensity. The dark eyes riveted upon her conquered even this unfeeling heart, and before realizing the import of her words, granted the request. "But," she added in the same breath, "there ain't many that'd do ...
— Rosa's Quest - The Way to the Beautiful Land • Anna Potter Wright

... waved his fan, Laughed and vanished through the wall; Yet as in a dream, we ran Tumbling after, one and all; Never pausing once to think, Panting after him we sped; Far away his robe of pink Floated backward as he fled. ...
— Collected Poems - Volume One (of 2) • Alfred Noyes

... arms came out of the window of the shed and clamped a fierce grip around his throat, jerking him backward against the wall. He grabbed frantically for the ...
— Be It Ever Thus • Robert Moore Williams

... he took off his hat, shaking his head backward, and showing his delicate throat as he sang, he looked like an incarnation of the spring whose spirit filled the air—a bright creature, abundant ...
— Middlemarch • George Eliot

... child that devours its nurses one after another, until it is claimed by its true parents. This war has eaten its way backward through all the technicalities of lawyers learned in the infinitesimals of ordinances and statutes; through all the casuistries of divines, experts in the differential calculus of conscience and duty; until it stands revealed to all men as the natural and inevitable ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... cousin to the push hoe and has a zigzag blade for cutting off young weeds which are just starting above ground. It is pushed backward and forward and cuts both ways. It is very good for soft ground; on a harder patch use ...
— Three Acres and Liberty • Bolton Hall

... knows how awkward are the Anatidae, waddling along on their unelastic webbed toes, and their short legs, which, being placed considerably backward, make the fore part of the body preponderate. Some, however, are formed more adapted to terrestrial habits than others, and notably amongst these may be named Dendronessa sponsa, the summer duck of America. ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... King of France and with much entreaty succeeded in obtaining a truce until sunrise on the following morning. The soldiers returned to their tents, and the cardinal rode backward and forward between the armies, beseeching the King of France to moderate his demands, and the Black Prince to submit to the evil fortune which had befallen him; but on the one side the king looked upon the victory as certain, and on the ...
— Saint George for England • G. A. Henty

... He hesitated one second, as if meaning to run; and in the next his assailant was upon him. He put up his hands to protect his face, but Jurgis, lunging with all the power of his arm and body, struck him fairly between the eyes and knocked him backward. The next moment he was on top of him, burying his ...
— The Jungle • Upton Sinclair

... state festivals, and not even all of them but only those which fell upon the same day or days every year, so that they could be engraved in the stone to form a perpetual calendar. All state festivals, of which there were several, which were appointed in each particular year according to the backward or forward estate of the harvest, were omitted from the list, though they were celebrated at some time in every year; and naturally the public calendars contained no reference to the many private and ...
— The Religion of Numa - And Other Essays on the Religion of Ancient Rome • Jesse Benedict Carter

... reached his side. The beast stirred not. The child then backward walked, and played again, Till, moving softly, slowly from the spot, The lion followed the ...
— Our Boys - Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors • Various

... own movements, thus broadening the surface they were covering with a view to succoring the canoe. As though with malevolent delight in the fear he was causing, Carey rapidly changed the course of the launch, urging it backward and forward with a resulting wild agitation of the waters. In one of these evolutions it passed within oar's length ...
— Blacksheep! Blacksheep! • Meredith Nicholson

... 28th of January, 1881, while working about a building, he fell backward from a ladder and fractured his skull, from which ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 3 (of 3) of Volume 8: Grover Cleveland, First Term. • Grover Cleveland

... words out of his mouth than something happened, something so sudden and surprising that Peter lost his balance and nearly fell over backward. The long bill which Peter had seen sticking forth from between those humped-up shoulders darted out and down into the water like a flash. Behind that bill was the longest neck Peter ever had seen! It was so long that Peter blinked to be perfectly sure that his eyes ...
— Mother West Wind "How" Stories • Thornton W. Burgess

... transactions, as I would visit the catacombs of Rome or Paris. It is like wandering up the Nile to stray among the shelves of his monumental folios. Here stands a series of volumes, extending over a considerable number of years, all of which volumes are in his handwriting. But as you go backward there is a break, and you come upon the writing of another person, who was getting old apparently, for it is beginning to be a little shaky, and then you know that you have gone back as far as the last days of his predecessor. Thirty or forty years more carry you to the time when this incumbent ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... thus described by Lumholtz: "A big fire of corn-cobs, or of the branches of the mountain-cedar, is made near the cross [outside the house], and the baby is carried over the smoke three times towards each cardinal-point, and also three times backward. The motion is first toward the east, then toward the west, then south, then north. The smoke of the corn-cobs assures him of success in agriculture. With a fire-brand the medicine-man makes three crosses on the child's forehead, if it is a boy, ...
— The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought • Alexander F. Chamberlain

... it about as the chaff before the wind; but when the sun got higher, and the strong, northerly wind had covered the hills with the dust, the soldiers came and turned this mound of earth over and over, and broke the hard clods in pieces, whilst others on horseback rode through it backward and forward, and raised a cloud of dust into the air; then with the wind the whole of it was carried away and blown into the dwellings of the Characitanians, all lying open to the north. And there being ...
— The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch - Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch • Plutarch

... sentiment in Prussia to break with his oppressor and join Russia. On March 17, he issued a famous address "To my People," in which he called upon them to assist him in the recovery of Prussian independence. Up to the defeat of Jena, Prussia was far more backward in its social organization than France had been before 1789. The agricultural classes were serfs, who were bound to the land and compelled to work a certain part of each week for the lord without remuneration.[433] The population was divided into strict social castes. Moreover, no noble could ...
— An Introduction to the History of Western Europe • James Harvey Robinson

... know that something was in the air. He looked around again and then quickened his pace. The boys, too, walked faster, and, noting this with another backward glance, the man in front made certain that they were following him with a purpose. What that purpose was he did not know, but his guilty conscience told him that it might be for any one of ...
— The Rushton Boys at Rally Hall - Or, Great Days in School and Out • Spencer Davenport

... kitchen sink and Billy carried them back to the dining-room. His aunt caught him several times prancing sideways in the most idiotic manner. He was making a valiant effort to keep from exposing his rear elevation to her; once he had to walk backward. ...
— Miss Minerva and William Green Hill • Frances Boyd Calhoun

... in these climes; and her reflection was still flitting backward and forward across the white window-blinds as Royston Keene came home from the Cercle. He knew the room, or guessed who the shadow belonged to; and as he moved away, after pausing a minute or two, ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... restlessness, with great dread of noises and bright light; in many cases reddish spots appear beneath the skin, and these are usually tender on pressure. In some cases the muscles of the neck become very stiff, and contract so that the head is drawn backward. The temperature is somewhat irregular, but is always above normal in the beginning, and sometimes goes very high; the pulse as a rule is normal, or but little accelerated. After the patient remains in this condition for a period varying from a few hours to several days, he generally ...
— Health on the Farm - A Manual of Rural Sanitation and Hygiene • H. F. Harris

... the poor thing when she's not doing any harm, and you put no restrictions on the things in which she's wilful. If there's a girl on earth who is being brought up backward, it's ...
— The Inner Shrine • Basil King

... within the limits of practicability. But the Christian doctrine of the universal brotherhood of man is becoming a working principle at last; and millions of dollars and thousands of our ablest young men and women are crossing the oceans to uplift and civilize the more backward nations, in deference to the admonition that we are our brothers' keepers. At home this recognition of the basic human relationship of living together on this little sphere, that is plunging with us all through the great deeps of space, should ...
— Problems of Conduct • Durant Drake

... tears, The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years, Those of my own life, who by turns had flung A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware, So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair; And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,— "Guess now who holds thee!"—"Death," I said, But, there, The silver answer rang, ...
— Sonnets from the Portuguese • Browning, Elizabeth Barrett

... what? Wherein did the deceased Akhoond of Swat Kotal's lamented Moolla late, As it were, emulate? Was it in the tented field With crash of sword on shield, While backward meaner champions reeled And loud the tom-tom pealed? Did they barter gash for scar With the Persian scimetar Or the Afghanistee tulwar, While loud the tom-tom pealed— While loud the tom-tom pealed, And the jim-jam squealed, And champions less well heeled Their war-horses wheeled And fled the presence ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... As they walked backward and forward, not very far away from the piazza, and sometimes stopping to admire bits of the silver-tinted landscape, Dora, with most interesting deftness, gave Ralph further opportunity of knowing her. With his sister as a ...
— The Girl at Cobhurst • Frank Richard Stockton

... difficult to ascertain what any man thinks, it is comparatively easy to ascertain what he does; and what a man does, not what he says, is the surest touchstone to his real belief. Hence when we attempt to study the religion of backward races, the ritual which they practise is generally a safer indication of their actual creed than the loudest profession of faith. In regard to the state of the human soul after death the beliefs of the Australian aborigines are clearly reflected in many ...
— The Belief in Immortality and the Worship of the Dead, Volume I (of 3) • Sir James George Frazer

... scrub oak, when just before them, a solitary horseman could be seen, leisurely walking his steed. At the sudden appearance of the stranger, both men instinctively reined in their horses and pulled up short. The man at that moment, heard them, and giving a hasty look backward, drove his spurs into his horse, dashed ...
— Jim Cummings • Frank Pinkerton

... light; The paddles beat a mad tattoo; The gridded walking-beam Pumped up, pumped down, Against the misty gleam; Faster and faster jets the stand-pipes' steam. And the white water whirls Astern in phosphorescent whorls— It swirls And then leads backward green with light Of streaming foam across the ...
— Carolina Chansons - Legends of the Low Country • DuBose Heyward and Hervey Allen

... old Forsytes was on his feet, moving with the most impressive slowness, and an air of perfect concentration on his own affairs, backward and forward between the foot of his bed and the window, a distance of some twelve feet. The lower part of his square face, no longer clean-shaven, was covered with snowy beard clipped as short as it could be, ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... was ordered to charge up the hill and re- capture the guns. I had only time to lift up my heart in prayer, and say 'Lord have mercy upon us,' when a roundshot struck my horse. He reared straight up and fell backward, partly falling upon me. All at once everything got black, and I heard not a sound of the din of battle that was raging around me. After a while, I don't know how long, it seemed like hours, I became aware of a deep thunderous sound that seemed to fill the air and cause the very earth to tremble, ...
— Neville Trueman the Pioneer Preacher • William Henry Withrow

... salute, they rolled their drums, they flourished their fifes, and they waved their colors; they faced to the left, and they faced to the right, and they faced to the right about; they wheeled forward, and they wheeled backward, and they wheeled into echelon; they marched and they countermarched, by grand divisions, by single divisions, and by subdivisions; by platoons, by sections, and by files; in quick time, in slow time, and in no time at all; for, having gone ...
— Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete • Washington Irving

... their attempt to intercept the backward movement of the States' army and to seize this vital point and the artillery with it, the Spaniards hesitated and were somewhat discouraged. Some Zeeland sailors, who had stuck like wax to those demi-cannon during the whole conflict, now promptly obeyed orders to open yet once ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... and Josephus' heavy hoofs clattered on the resounding planks. The wagon was heavily laden; and when it began to run backward, with Walky jerking on the reins, it could not easily ...
— How Janice Day Won • Helen Beecher Long

... message-torp. It wasn't to be expected. It came in on a course that extended backward to somewhere near the Rift—where there used to be Huks—and for a very, very long way it had traveled as only message-torps do travel. It hopped half a light-year in overdrive, and came back to normality long enough for its photocells to inspect the star-filled ...
— A Matter of Importance • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... very same! Did you know Dr. Marchant, sir? The minute I laid eyes on you two I thought you were of her kind!' replied the woman, pointing backward over her shoulder and settling herself against the shaft and side of Brown Tom, the horse, as if expecting and making ready for ...
— The Garden, You, and I • Mabel Osgood Wright

... the first place there are the psychological types—the choleric, the sanguine, the phlegmatic, and the hybrid. There are also the types of real life with which we are most familiar—the masterful, the weak, the mischievous, the backward, the shy, the bully, the joker, the "smartie," the echo or shadow, the quiet or reticent, the girl-struck, the self-conscious, the unconscious, and the forgetful. Lastly, we should also consider the different ...
— The Boy and the Sunday School - A Manual of Principle and Method for the Work of the Sunday - School with Teen Age Boys • John L. Alexander

... September Dick Guiseley came to Merefield to shoot grouse. The grouse, as I think I have already remarked, were backward this year, and, after a kind of ceremonial opening, to give warning as it were, on the twelfth of August, they were left in peace. Business was to begin on the third, and on the evening of the second ...
— None Other Gods • Robert Hugh Benson

... stuck out a bunch of hay at him, he couldn't bite it by about five feet. When you led him down to water, you had to go sideways; and if you wanted to get him in through the corral gate, you had to push him in backward. We discovered right soon that he was born with his parallax or something out of gear. His graduated scale of seein' things was different from our'n. I don't reckon anybody ever will know what all Pinto saw with them glass lamps of his, but all the time we knowed ...
— Heart's Desire • Emerson Hough

... embowelled mountain they might be passing through, so cold was the air and thick the darkness; and wondered more at the old face of dawn, which appeared to know nothing of her agitation. But morning was better than night, and she ceased counting over her sins forward and backward; adding comments on them, excusing some and admitting the turpitude of others, with 'Oh! I was naughty, padre mio! I was naughty—she huddled them all into one of memory's spare sacks, and tied the neck of it, that they should keep safe for her father-confessor. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... Not finding him he returned, had another interview with the misleading image, and ended as before in seeking him outside. At length he seemed to be convinced that there was something not quite natural about it, for, feeling hungry, he went, with many a backward glance at the glass, to the floor, took a hemp-seed and carried it out into the room to eat, a thing he never did at ...
— In Nesting Time • Olive Thorne Miller

... to nothing, and, though she asked a question or two, she raised no present plea. Her questions—or at least her own answers to them—kindled, on Mrs. Stringham's part, a backward train: she hadn't known till tonight how much she remembered, or how fine it might be to see what had become of large, high-coloured Maud, florid, exotic and alien—which had been just the spell—even ...
— The Wings of the Dove, Volume 1 of 2 • Henry James

... spoke he seized his leg above the knee, to choke back the first excruciating pang. Rocking backward and forward, he began to repeat ...
— Sacrifice • Stephen French Whitman

... young men: then both bands, the young men and the maidens, drew near to the bale, which was now burning low, and stood about it, and joined hands, and so danced round it a while, and meantime the fiddles played an uncouth tune merrily: then they sundered, and each couple of men and maids leapt backward and forward over the fire; and when they had all leapt, came forward men with buckets of water which they cast over the dancers till it ran down them in streams. Then was all the throng mingled together, and folk trod the embers of the bale under foot, ...
— The Well at the World's End • William Morris

... their courtesies. Ignoring the outstretched hands of both the man and boy, she sprang lightly from her horse, and, as she did so, with a sly and sudden push of her dainty foot, she sent the kneeling lad sprawling backward, while her merry peal of laughter rang out as an ...
— Historic Girls • E. S. Brooks

... his resistance) No! You are too much! You are not enough. (still wanting not to hurt her, he is slow in getting free. He keeps stepping backward trying, in growing earnest, to loosen her hands. But he does not loosen them before she has found the place in his throat that cuts off breath. ...
— Plays • Susan Glaspell

... occupation, however, never look backward; stick to it with all the tenacity you can muster. Let nothing tempt you or swerve you a hair's breadth from your aim, and you will win. Do not let the thorns which appear in every vocation, or temporary despondency or disappointment, shake your purpose. ...
— Pushing to the Front • Orison Swett Marden

... nodding his head backward and forward with dreamy emphasis; he now shook it horizontally, closing his eyes. "There is no uncertainty," he said, lowering his trumpet; "that is the advantage of science: you can count upon it with absolute certainty. I am glad the man is poor—very glad; it heightens ...
— The Wizard's Daughter and Other Stories • Margaret Collier Graham

... left. Several of the crew of the schooner have climbed into the tops, and from that point of vantage pour down on the attacking party a murderous fire. Horrid yells go up from the enraged combatants, and the roar of the musketry is deafening. The crew of the schooner are forced backward, step by step, until at last they are driven off the vessel altogether, and stand on the wharf delivering a rapid fire. The men from the navy-yard are beginning to pour down to the wharf to take a hand in the fight. But now a column of smoke begins ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 2 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... line and another line twenty yards distant by a manner of progress different from that used by any of the previous players. For example, the first one called upon to cover the intervening space between the lines walks, the second one runs, the third hops, the fourth crawls, the fifth walks backward, etc., and so on until all of the players have reached the far line. This game taxes the ingenuity of the last players to be called upon, as they have to initiate new ...
— School, Church, and Home Games • George O. Draper

... They numbered in the millions. They were migrating from the temperate zones toward zones still warmer, following the itineraries of herring and sardines. We stared at them through our thick glass windows: they swam backward with tremendous speed, moving by means of their locomotive tubes, chasing fish and mollusks, eating the little ones, eaten by the big ones, and tossing in indescribable confusion the ten feet that nature has rooted in their heads like a hairpiece of pneumatic snakes. Despite ...
— 20000 Leagues Under the Seas • Jules Verne

... averted from me. When, however, he had reached the bottom of the descent, he turned his head, and perceiving me, as I stood bareheaded, without either coat or waistcoat, about two yards from him, he gave a sudden start, so violent that the backward motion of his hand had nearly flung ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... each one. Then, knowing his strength was coming to an end, he approached an Indian whose splendid fillet and trappings denoted him of consequence; and Jones was near shouting with relief when the Indian shrank backward. Suddenly he saw Cumnor let his can drop, and without stopping to see why, he caught it up, and, slowly rattling both, approached each Indian in turn with tortuous steps. The circle that had never uttered a sound till now receded, chanting almost in a whisper some exorcising song which ...
— Red Men and White • Owen Wister

... to tell the nature of these purely organic substances and forms in the evil and in the good respectively: in the good the spiral forms travel forward, in the evil backward; the forward-traveling are turned to the Lord and receive influx from Him; the retrogressive are turned towards hell and receive influx from hell. It should be known that in the measure in which they turn backward these forms are open behind and closed in front; ...
— Angelic Wisdom about Divine Providence • Emanuel Swedenborg

... between the ranks of the steamer-chairs. Nevertheless as she presently turned a calmed face to him with her pale apology he had the sensation of a rebound toward the ideal that had finally perished in the spotted muslin, and when a little later he watched the long backward trail of smoke as the steamer moved down the clear morning river, he reflected that it was a ...
— The Path of a Star • Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

... as monkish clerks, With many a scroll and pen; And backward shall ye turn and gaze, Desiring one of Alfred's days, When pagans ...
— The Ballad of the White Horse • G.K. Chesterton

... known as Major Post threw away his cigarette, and coming round behind Pritchard's chair, suddenly bent the man's head backward. Crease advanced, phial in hand. Then all Hell seemed to be let loose in Tavernake. He stepped back in his place and marked the extent of that wooden partition. Then, setting his teeth, he sprang at it, throwing the ...
— The Tempting of Tavernake • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... recoiled, casting a quick look backward at the lift just then standing idle with ...
— The Morals of Marcus Ordeyne • William J. Locke

... the cabinet which held the medallion, Alexander VI, motionless and livid, was lying on a bier at whose four corners there burned four torches. The cardinal stood still for a moment, his eyes fixed, and his hair standing on end, without strength to move either backward or forward; then thinking it was all a trick of fancy or an apparition of the devil's making, he made the sign of the cross, invoking God's holy name; all instantly vanished, torches, bier, and corpse, and the seeming mortuary, chamber was ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... splendid example of the temperament that looks forward and not backward, and never wastes a moment in regrets for the irrevocable. I had the privilege of admission to his society during the Thayer expedition to Brazil. I well remember at night, as we all swung in our hammocks in the fairy-like moonlight, on the deck of the ...
— Memories and Studies • William James

... Saint-Cloud, one of silk stockings, for more than once on the bivouac I shared with him a bundle of straw, which I had been fortunate enough to procure. In such cases I must avow the sacrifice was much greater on my part than when I had shared my wardrobe with him. The king was not backward in expressing his gratitude; and I thought it a most remarkable thing to see a sovereign, whose palace was filled with all that luxury can invent to add to comfort, and all that art can create which is splendid and magnificent, only too happy in procuring half ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... which half filled a flask left in this abandoned dwelling. Then I stretched myself on the bed, not to be disdained by the victim of shipwreck. The earthy smell of the dried leaves was balm to my sense after the hateful odour of sea-weed. I forgot my state of loneliness. I neither looked backward nor forward; my senses were hushed to repose; I fell asleep and dreamed of all dear inland scenes, of hay-makers, of the shepherd's whistle to his dog, when he demanded his help to drive the flock to fold; of sights and sounds peculiar to my boyhood's ...
— The Last Man • Mary Shelley

... when the shuddering trees Shook, and the leaves divided, and the air Grew conscious of a god, and the grey seas Crawled backward, and a long and dismal blare Blew from some tasselled horn, a sleuth-hound bayed, And like a flame a barbed reed flew whizzing ...
— Poems • Oscar Wilde

... possibility of trouble, they came in great numbers to offer their services in defense of their city and the Government. Companies were organized, and persons in all positions and callings, from the highest in social life to the humblest resident, were not backward in asserting their allegiance and giving proof of it by entering the ranks. By marching and maneuvering the men on the streets frequently they made the impression that a greater force was present ...
— General Scott • General Marcus J. Wright

... been tried with the sickness and doctors' bills—Peck and me—and I am very backward with the world just at present. If anybody could lend me twelve pounds for two months, they'd get principal and interest handsome. You being an old friend turned up, and me knowing you so well at Bendigo, ...
— Mr. Hogarth's Will • Catherine Helen Spence

... observed, in Donati's comet, of 1858, from the 15th to the 22d of October, that the nucleus threw out intermittingly from itself appendages having the form of brilliant, coma-shaped masses of incandescent substance twisted violently backward. He accounts for these very remarkable changes of configuration by the influence first of the sun's heat upon the comet's substance as it approached toward perihelion, and afterward by the production in the luminous emanations ...
— Ragnarok: The Age of Fire and Gravel • Ignatius Donnelly

... him from her so violently that he tumbled backward down the steps to the very bottom, where, unnerved by the ferocity of the attack and his head bruised by the fall, he felt his consciousness escape like gas from a punctured balloon. When found the next morning, he was barely covered by the old sin-eater's rags, while near by was scattered ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... to see if he can hear it tick, and then persists in fingering it about, to the imminent danger of the tally-pin. After telling him several times not to meddle with it, and receiving overbearing gestures in reply, I deliberately throw him backward into an irrigating ditch. A gleam of intelligence overspreads the stolid countenance of the Pasha Khan at seeing his offspring floundering about on his back in the mud and water, and he gives utterance to a chuckle of delight. The discomfited young man betrays ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... A telephone transmitter including a thermo-electric battery, placed in circuit with the line. A plate of vulcanite faces it. When the sound waves strike the vulcanite they move it backward and forward. These movements, owing to the elasticity of the vulcanite, produce minute changes of temperature in it, which affecting the thermo-electric pile produce in the circuit currents, which passing through a Bell telephone cause it to ...
— The Standard Electrical Dictionary - A Popular Dictionary of Words and Terms Used in the Practice - of Electrical Engineering • T. O'Conor Slone

... changed to a yell. The drum beat quickened, and the great circle of dancing Indians broke and charged the crowd of whites. A number of them drew revolvers and began firing them into the air. Others drew taut the great bows they carried. The whites plunged backward precipitately. ...
— Lydia of the Pines • Honore Willsie Morrow

... the flames falling, a chaos of mere feeling overwhelmed her. It was as though her blood were running backward, knotting itself in clots of darkness and agony. He had sent her away unlovingly—punishing her for her fidelity. Her love for Tante destroyed his love for her. He must have known her pain; yet he could speak like that to her; look like that. The tears rose to her eyes and rolled down her ...
— Tante • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... blue dress kept backing away from him, holding the camera level and gazing into the view finder. The man, gesticulating more wildly than ever, followed her. She moved more and more rapidly away from him until at last she was proceeding backward along the street at a rapid trot. In the end she bumped against me. I staggered and clutched at my hat. She turned, and, without appearing in the least put out, began to apologize. Then her face lit with a sudden ...
— Lalage's Lovers - 1911 • George A. Birmingham

... in the face, and took a step or two backward, as if Johnny had aimed a blow at him; and then, somewhat recovering himself, he opened his eyes, puckered up his lips, and looked from one to the other of his companions, with an expression ...
— Frank Among The Rancheros • Harry Castlemon

... thus addressed had led a young horse to water at the spring which bubbled out of a sugar-kettle hard by; and the horse, quivering, had barely touched his nostrils to the water when he reared backward, jerking the halter-rope taut. Then followed, with bewildering rapidity, a series of manoeuvres on the part of the horse to get away, and on the part of the person to prevent this, and inasmuch as the struggle took place in the middle of the road, Victoria had to stop. By the ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... might. He was aiming to disable the cowboy by kicking the injured foot. And he was succeeding. Moore let out a strangled cry, and struggled desperately. But he was held and weighted down. Belllounds raised up now and, looking backward, he deliberately and furiously kicked Moore's bandaged foot; once, twice, again and again, until the straining form under him grew limp. Columbine, slowly freezing with horror, saw all this. She could not move. She could not scream. She wanted ...
— The Mysterious Rider • Zane Grey

... Hammond's pistol became fouled by a cap, and the cylinder would not revolve. The Rebel had two charges left. Quick work was now necessary. Another spurring of his horse brought him within arm's length of the flying Rebel, whereupon he seized his coat collar with both his hands, and dragged him backward from his saddle. Holding firmly his grasp, both horses went from under them, and they fell pell-mell to the ground. Luckily Hammond was uppermost, with one hand at the enemy's throat and the other holding the band of the pistol with which the Rebel ...
— Three Years in the Federal Cavalry • Willard Glazier

... grant it not one hour of our intelligence. Is it surprising that the idea of death, which should be the most perfect and the most luminous—being the most persistent and the most inevitable—remains the flimsiest of our ideas and the only one that is backward? How should we know the one power which we never looked in the face? How could it profit by flashes kindled only to help us escape it? To fathom its abysses, we wait until the most enfeebled, the most disordered moments of our life arrive. ...
— Death • Maurice Maeterlinck

... why Barneveld could not himself leave the country in the eventful spring of 1610. It must be admitted, however, that he was not backward in placing his nearest relatives in places of honour, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... Their apparent age runs up miraculously, like the value of diamonds, as they increase in magnitude. A great calamity, for instance, is as old as the trilobites an hour after it has happened. It stains backward through all the leaves we have turned over in the book of life, before its blot of tears or of blood is dry on the page we are turning. For this we seem to have lived; it was foreshadowed in dreams that we leaped out of in the cold sweat ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes

... leaning posture, took a step backward, so that she stood entirely free from the trap-door, then slipping her foot under the rug, she placed it lightly on the spring-bolt, which she was careful not to press; the ample fall of her dress concealed the ...
— Capitola the Madcap • Emma D. E. N. Southworth

... Italian prestige in surgery from Italy to France and laid the foundations in Paris of a thoroughly scientific as well as a practical surgery, though this department of the medical school had been in a sadly backward state ...
— Old-Time Makers of Medicine • James J. Walsh

... apartment in Rome, where the apartments of passing strangers were not so proud under Pius IX. as they are under Victor Emmanuel III. I do not know why it should have been called the Street of the Lobster, but it may have been in an obscure play of the fancy with the notion of a backward gait in it that I came to believe that, in the many improvements which had befallen Rome, Via del Gambero had disappeared. Destroyed, some traveller from antique lands had told me, I dare say; obliterated, wiped out by the march of municipal ...
— Roman Holidays and Others • W. D. Howells

... though it were the most backward among nations. And indeed it is in spite of appearances essentially feudal. There is perhaps a German culture, but there ...
— New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 4, July, 1915 - April-September, 1915 • Various

... by a hair's breadth. He released his grip on the fallen man and jumped back. He saw anger change to terror on the face of the poor wretch on the ground, and in a moment he was hidden and my brother was borne backward and carried past the entrance of the lane, and had to fight hard in the torrent ...
— The War of the Worlds • H. G. Wells

... find my Judge, That I might press even to His seat, and plead My cause before Him. Would He strike me dumb With His great power? Nay,—rather would he give Strength to the weakness that would answer Him. Lo! I go forward,—but He is not there,— And backward, yet my eyes perceive Him not. On the left hand, His works surround me still, But He is absent,—on the right, I gaze, Yet doth He hide Himself. But well He knows My way, and when the time of trial's o'er, And the refining fire hath purg'd ...
— Man of Uz, and Other Poems • Lydia Howard Sigourney

... forms and all daubed with fragrant powders of diverse hues, and dancing with joyous hearts in accompaniment with instruments of different kinds made of brass. Surrounded by these who move with electric rapidity in the mazes of the dance or refrain at times altogether from forward or backward or transverse motion of every kind, Mahadeva dwells there. That delightful spot on the mountains, we have heard, is the favourite abode of the great Deity. It is said that that great god as also his associates are always present there. ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... sounded more shrill than before, while the woman and the young man-servant had retreated backward towards the door, their eyes fixed upon the ...
— The Sign of Silence • William Le Queux

... he was not in a mood to appreciate literary values. He attended strictly to business, which was to lift the excellent animal on which he was mounted as rapidly as possible over the ground. In this he attained a moderate success. Venturing a backward glance, after a few moments, he noted with pleasure that the distance between himself and the maniacs had sensibly increased. Then one of those zipping bullets passed between his body and his arm, cut off three ...
— Blazed Trail Stories - and Stories of the Wild Life • Stewart Edward White

... that sheet of fire, and retreating backward every hour, were most of the people of the city, forced toward the Pacific by the advance of the flames. The open space of the Presidio and Golden Gate park was their only haven and so the night of ...
— Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror • Richard Linthicum

... devices for throwing his rider to be useless, soon resorted to the most wicked trick known to the equine mind. He reared, intent on throwing himself over backward, ...
— Dick Prescott's Third Year at West Point - Standing Firm for Flag and Honor • H. Irving Hancock

... our story? Not yet, by many moments. First, every drawer in the tall, old-fashioned bureau is to be opened, with difficulty, and with a succession of spasmodic jerks then, all must close again, with the same fidgety reluctance. There is a rustling of stiff silks; a tread of backward and forward footsteps to and fro across the chamber. We suspect Miss Hepzibah, moreover, of taking a step upward into a chair, in order to give heedful regard to her appearance on all sides, and at full length, in ...
— The House of the Seven Gables • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... puckered with anxiety for the results of his experiment. Pepper's delighted comments drew his eyes upwards, and he made shift to raise his hat, with a smile that was instantly and generously repaid. Rose nodded and waved her hand, and Peter went off, making gestures and casting backward glances at her, until he was a mere dot upon the distant road, with another ...
— Sisters • Ada Cambridge

... father and the relative so often mentioned quarrelled; quarrelled by letter, for I took the letter from my father to him which caused the explosion, but quarrelled very fiercely. It was about me. It may have had some backward reference, in part, for anything I know, to my employment at the window. All I am certain of is that, soon after I had given him the letter, my cousin (he was a sort of cousin by marriage) told me he was very much insulted about me; ...
— Stories of Achievement, Volume IV (of 6) - Authors and Journalists • Various

... not suffice. The States were backward in voting contributions, and, in 1784, Robert Morris resigned his office after discharging all his personal obligations incurred on account of the Government. He then resumed his private business. He was the first ...
— Revolutionary Heroes, And Other Historical Papers • James Parton

... far as I know," said the father, with a backward nod to indicate the antecedent of the pronoun. Following which, he said what lay uppermost in his mind. "I been allowin' maybe you'd come back this time with your head sot on lettin' ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... endowed with a certain strength and, in particular, horny and sturdy jaws, whereas their jaws are so fine that a microscopic examination failed to show them to me. The larvae, it is true, are provided with powerful mandibles; but these finely-pointed mandibles, with their backward curve, though excellent for tugging at food and tearing it to pieces, are useless for grinding it or gnawing it. Lastly, we have a final proof of the passive condition of the Sitaris-larvae on the body of the Anthophorae in the fact that the Bees do ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... the second spring Mary had seen set in, in England. But the first had been wayward and backward as the seasons of her native climate. The present was such a one as poets love to paint. Nature was in all its first freshness and beauty—the ground was covered with flowers, the luxuriant hedgerows were white with blossoms, ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... than twice as heavy as himself, but after turning them into the right position for getting a good hold with his long sickle-teeth he managed to drag them up to the foot of the tree from which he had cut them, moving backward. Then seating himself comfortably, he held them on end, bottom up, and demolished them at his ease. A good deal of nibbling had to be done before he got anything to eat, because the lower scales are barren, but when he had patiently worked ...
— The Mountains of California • John Muir

... we find that the squirrel can turn all his toes around so that the nails point backward, and we see that he is made for running up and down trees, where he has ...
— Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors - For Young Folks • James Johonnot

... especial mention of the treasures of BARON DERSCHAU—a respectable old Prussian nobleman, who has recently removed into a capacious residence, of which the chambers in front contain divers old pictures; and one chamber in particular, backward, is filled with curiosities of a singular variety of description.[172] I had indeed heard frequent mention of this gentleman, both in Austria and Bavaria. His reception of me was most courteous, and his conversation ...
— A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Three • Thomas Frognall Dibdin

... California! Every one who only looks backward, and not clearly forward, will, however high and honourably he stands, say, that if such riches lie in knowledge, they would long since have been made available by great and immortal bards, who had a clear and sagacious eye for the discovery of truth. But let us remember that when Thespis ...
— Pictures of Sweden • Hans Christian Andersen

... children knelt. Their half-stifled sobs and moaning alone broke the silence of the lonely chamber. And when at last the mother's grasp relaxed, and, turning one look from the children to the father, she vainly strove to speak, and fell backward on the pillow, all was so calm and tranquil that she seemed to sink to sleep. They leant over her; they called upon her name, softly at first, and then in the loud and piercing tones of desperation. But there was no reply. They ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... whose real name was Little Boy, told his father that he had gone a mile into Fairy-land, and that there the people were born old and grew younger all the time, and that on this account the hands of their clocks went backward. When his father heard this, he said that boy was only fit to sing songs and be in the sun, and would never make bricks worth a penny. Then he added, sharply, that his son must get to work at once and stop going over the fence to Fairy-land. So, after that, Little Boy was ...
— Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17) - Folk-Lore, Fables, And Fairy Tales • Various

... L'Abbe, spelled backward. His last years were spent near New Berlin, beside a lonely waterfall, where he had a flower garden, and kept bees. His grave was four miles south of New Berlin, until relatives came and ...
— The Story of Cooperstown • Ralph Birdsall

... degrees to the size of the canal of the Chimney, this manner of uniting the lower extremity of the canal of the Chimney with the throat would tend to assist the winds which may attempt to blow down the Chimney, in forcing their way through the throat, and throwing the smoke backward into the room; but when the throat of the Chimney ends abruptly, and the ends of the new walls form a flat horizontal surface, it will be much more difficult for any wind from above, to find, and force its way through the narrow passage of ...
— ESSAYS, Political, Economical and Philosophical. Volume 1. • Benjamin Rumford

... dilated, and shot fire; she turned her head backward, and raising her arm towards Gilbert, ...
— Stories of Modern French Novels • Julian Hawthorne

... without a word, his face darkening again as he did so, and with one backward glance at Golden Star, who had now raised her head from Ruth's breast, and was staring after us with fixed, wide-open eyes, I turned and walked away beside him, neither of us speaking a word, for we were both too busy with our ...
— The Romance of Golden Star ... • George Chetwynd Griffith

... Then I said, 'Do you not see that the child is suffering from Opisthotonos?' whereupon the first physician stood as one dazed, as if I were trying to trouble his wits by my hard words. But Della Croce at once swept aside all uncertainty by saying, 'He means the backward contraction of the muscles.' I confirmed his words, and added, 'I will show you what I mean.' Whereupon I raised the boy's head, which the doctors and all the rest believed was hanging down through weakness, and by its own weight, and bade them ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... confidence. As we go deeper into the rocks and find older fossils, the evidence becomes less certain. The animals differed enough from those of to-day for us to be less sure what they were like. As we keep on moving backward through time, and downward through the rocks, we find, after a while, strata in which there are evidences of life that existed long ago, but in which these traces are so altered that it is impossible to tell what sort of living things existed; we learn only that they were alive. ...
— The Meaning of Evolution • Samuel Christian Schmucker

... were all equipped with new Winchester rifles. Harran carried one of these himself and with it he illustrated the various commands he gave. As soon as one of the men under his supervision became more than usually proficient, he was told off to instruct a file of the more backward. After the manual of arms, Harran gave the command to take distance as skirmishers, and when the line had opened out so that some half-dozen feet intervened between each man, an advance was made across the field, the men stooping ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... "crammar," Was Agnew's most persuasive rod, Nor less his magisterial nod. How would such stern tuition suit In our Collegiate Institute? Amongst the unforgotten few Who rise to memory's magic view, While winging on her backward flight, My schoolfellow, Alonzo Wright, Appears a lad of slender frame, I cannot say he's still the same, Except in soul, for that sublime Has soar'd above the touch of time, And in "immortal youth" appears, Unchanged by circumstance or years, A ...
— Recollections of Bytown and Its Old Inhabitants • William Pittman Lett



Words linked to "Backward" :   returning, retarded, retrospective, reflexive, retroflex, transposed, regressive, backswept, reversive, retracted, adynamic, undynamic, timid, reversed, self-referent, inverse, bashful, forward, sweptback, retrograde, cacuminal, regardant, archaicism, receding, retroflexed, retral, reverse, blate, converse, archaism, ahead



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