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Backwards   /bˈækwərdz/   Listen
Backwards

adverb
1.
At or to or toward the back or rear.  Synonyms: back, backward, rearward, rearwards.  "Tripped when he stepped backward" , "She looked rearward out the window of the car"
2.
In a manner or order or direction the reverse of normal.  Synonym: backward.  "The child put her jersey on backward"



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"Backwards" Quotes from Famous Books



... blood and brains of his unfortunate comrade, had already set his foot upon the lowest step of the ladder, when the cutlass was dashed from his hand by a blow from a clubbed firelock, and he was dragged roughly backwards. As he fell upon the deck, he saw the Crow spring out of the mass of prisoners who had been, an instant before, struggling with the guard, and, gaining the cleared space at the bottom of the ladder, hold ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... whitewashed or painted yellow, is relieved by the varied beauty of the suburbs and gardens, and the numerous wooded eminences crowned by churches and other conspicuous public edifices. Beyond the city the harbour again widens out to form an immense basin, studded with green islands, extending backwards some seventeen or eighteen miles further towards the foot of the Organ Mountains, remarkable for their pinnacled summits, the highest of which attains an elevation of 7800 feet ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... be deeply interested in "studying lessons," and was soon, after hard study, complete master of the alphabet. I could repeat it forwards and backwards, and could instantly tell the name of any letter pointed out to me. My mistresses seemed to take great pleasure in teaching me, and I was very anxious to learn. I soon found that I could understand in a great measure the instructions the teacher gave to the different ...
— Biography of a Slave - Being the Experiences of Rev. Charles Thompson • Charles Thompson

... no; go to your pigs first, you'll spoil my lovely present for Jack if you come near me," said Fairy, hiding her hands behind her, and running backwards to avoid any chance of a collision with Charlie and his pail as he ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII. No. 358, November 6, 1886. • Various

... exclaimed Alan joyously, as the white arms flew round and round and the air shot backwards on both sides of the long car. At 750 revolutions the car was rocking and lurching as if it would soar birdlike into the air. At 800 the powerful pulling propeller began to overcome the rigidity of the framework on which the car rested and as Alan ...
— The Air Ship Boys • H.L. Sayler

... rapidity, and the men were thrown into the most ridiculous attitudes in endeavouring to stop them. When we had arrived at the bottom I could not but feel astonished at the laborious task which the voyagers have twice in the year to encounter at this place, in conveying their stores backwards and forwards. We went across the Clear Water River, which runs at the bases of these hills, and followed an Indian track along its northern bank, by which we avoided the White Mud and Good Portages. We afterwards followed the river as far as the Pine Portage, when we passed through ...
— Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea, in the Years 1819-20-21-22, Volume 1 • John Franklin

... I will say for the chauffeur that while, as a farmer, he would never get far, as a driver he knew his business. One slight skid and we stopped short, "never to go again," like grandfather's clock. It resulted in our having to be towed backwards to the nearest garage, while the chauffeur jumped on a passing motor bound for Pasadena, and was snatched from my sight like Elijah in the chariot—he was off to get a new driving shaft. The smiling ...
— The Smiling Hill-Top - And Other California Sketches • Julia M. Sloane

... style is "his personal own,"—that it has monopolized a geographical part of the world's sensibilities, then it may be that the value of his substance is not growing,—that it even may have started on its way backwards,—it may be that he is trading an inspiration for a bad habit and finally that he is reaching fame, permanence, or some other under-value, and that he is getting farther and farther from a perfect truth. But, on the contrary side of the picture, it is not unreasonable to imagine ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... are driving, the youngest ones in the party will ride backwards. A hostess driving with her guests enters her carriage after them, unless they are noticeably younger than she is; but she does not relinquish her usual seat to any one, unless she happens to have a ...
— Etiquette • Agnes H. Morton

... came to consult the oracle. After these preliminaries, he descended into the cave by a narrow passage. This place could be entered only in the night. The person returned from the cave by the same narrow passage, but walking backwards. He appeared melancholy and dejected; and hence the proverb which was applied to a person low-spirited and gloomy, "He has been ...
— TITLE • AUTHOR

... strolled out again, holding to the generally prevalent belief that if they returned at two o'clock they would still have sufficient hours to wait. In the Yard a thin line extended from the side of the Hall gateway backwards to the railings in St. Margaret's Street, with another line drawn up across the far edge of the broad carriage-way before the entrance. There was no ostentatious show of police, but they had a way of silently filing out from under the sheds or out of the Commons' gateway in proportion ...
— Faces and Places • Henry William Lucy

... five yards apart, often intermingled, and several times the different regiments were forced backwards, but their General was always there to rally and cheer them. At his voice their strength returned, and they recovered ground, though soon in the dreadful conflict nearly all their regimental ...
— Our Soldiers - Gallant Deeds of the British Army during Victoria's Reign • W.H.G. Kingston

... from his chair, a short-barrelled revolver in his hand. But, before he was well on his feet, before the short barrel had made its required brief arc, Howard's blow landed. With all of his force, with all of the weight of his body, he struck Jim Courtot square upon the chin. Courtot went over backwards, spilling out of the chair that crumpled and snapped and broke to pieces; his gun flew wide across the room. Howard's impetus carried him on across the table so that he too fell, and across the body of the man he had struck. But when Alan got to ...
— The Desert Valley • Jackson Gregory

... through the red rock to the water's edge, and here a small boat was always moored to a chain. The chain was stretched across the river, fixed to the staples driven into the rock on either side, and the boat was pulled backwards and forwards over the stream without aid from oars or paddles. From the opposite side a path led through the woods and across the fields to Penrith, and this was the route commonly used between Thwaite Hall and ...
— The Mistletoe Bough • Anthony Trollope

... Unhumh! I knowed you was the one knocked my cow's horn off! And you lied like a doodle-bug going backwards in his hole and made out ...
— De Turkey and De Law - A Comedy in Three Acts • Zora Neale Hurston

... delight in very small jokes. When Mr. CECIL BECK, as Vice-Chamberlain of the Household, delivered HIS MAJESTY's reply to the Address the House of Commons was chiefly interested in watching how he would accomplish the feat of walking backwards from the Table to the Bar. More than once in past history the task has proved too much for the man who essayed it, and the orderly retreat has degenerated into a shambling rout. But there was no such hitch ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 150, March 1, 1916 • Various

... Bethune Baliol was a person of quality and fortune, as these are esteemed in Scotland. Her family was ancient, and her connections honourable. She was not fond of specially indicating her exact age, but her juvenile recollections stretched backwards till before the eventful year 1745, and she remembered the Highland clans being in possession of the Scottish capital, though probably only as an indistinct vision. Her fortune, independent by her father's bequest, was rendered opulent by the death of more ...
— Chronicles of the Canongate • Sir Walter Scott

... backwards, but onwards. Israel in the desert was hungry and thirsty, while in Egypt he had eaten bread to the full; Israel in the desert saw a wide waste of sand, or sandy rock, around him, while in Egypt he had dwelt in those green pastures and watered gardens to which the Nile had ...
— The Christian Life - Its Course, Its Hindrances, And Its Helps • Thomas Arnold

... the hostess, has a spelling book from which she selects the words which the players must spell backwards. Words of one or two syllables may be chosen, and if, when spelt backwards, they spell other ...
— Games for Everybody • May C. Hofmann

... of terror burst from his lips, and he sought to fling himself backwards and sideways out of the saddle. His instinctive purpose was to fall to the ground and clutch the grass tufts. But in the same moment that he tried to throw himself off, the nimble pony swerved to the left so abruptly that the man's effort served only to keep himself balanced on the saddle. ...
— Out of the Depths - A Romance of Reclamation • Robert Ames Bennet

... beings made in God's image, and to drive them to the poorhouse, the fever-shed, or the emigrant ship, to whiten the bottom of the sea with their bones, or to face the moral and physical perils of the transatlantic cities. He did not read his bible, like Satan, backwards, nor did he turn out the Son of God in the person of His poor. Hence his name is in benediction, and his estates are more prosperous than the estates of those who forget God in their worldly wisdom, and would seem to have no belief in a judgment ...
— The Land-War In Ireland (1870) - A History For The Times • James Godkin

... have their prestige with them; they cannot comprehend how the Constitution which they like produces the anarchy which they detest; they are "foolish enough to bemoan the effects while swearing to maintain their causes; totally deficient in spirit, in union and in boldness," they float backwards and forwards between contradictory desires, while their predisposition to order merely awaits the steady impulsion of a vigorous will to turn it in the opposite direction.—On such docile material the "Left" ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... yes, and that all that day he had been blowing backwards and forwards over it without being able to move one single tile. 'Oh, do tell me where it is,' cried the you man. 'It is a long way off,' replied the wind, 'on the other side of the Red Sea.' But our traveller was not discouraged, he ...
— The Green Fairy Book • Various

... contained only an impression in wax which resembled a large seal. With hot eyes she bent over it, making nothing of its reversed letters. Then, with a sudden thought, she held it before the glass, seeing in the mirror the words, which read backwards, like the life of him whose last act ...
— The Pagans • Arlo Bates

... Viney decidedly; "haven't I seen all sorts of queer figures creeping along by the brink after nightfall between San Gregorio and the next rancho? Aren't they always skulking backwards and forwards to mass ...
— The Bell-Ringer of Angel's and Other Stories • Bret Harte

... school-house was not marked by any unusual occurrence, and at the close, the little company of schoolmates proceeded together, until they came to the road leading to Lucindy's home. Here they parted, with many professions of everlasting friendship; Lucindy, walking backwards, watched her companions until the turn in the road ...
— Our Young Folks at Home and Abroad • Various

... from the constellations to the Signs cannot have taken place very early. The place of the spring equinox travels backwards amongst the stars at the rate of very little more than a degree in 72 years. When the change was made the spring equinox was somewhere in the constellation Aries, the Ram, and therefore Aries was then adopted as the first Sign, and ...
— The Astronomy of the Bible - An Elementary Commentary on the Astronomical References - of Holy Scripture • E. Walter Maunder

... Weare, who was in command of the Parliamentary forces, and took possession. Many skirmishes must have taken place either in or about the town, for large bodies of the troops belonging to King or Parliament moved backwards and forwards in the immediate neighbourhood during ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... change. Oysters, nevertheless, that have not fixed themselves, but remain loose at the bottom of the sea, have the power of locomotion; they open their shells to their fullest extent, and then suddenly contracting them, the expulsion of the water forwards gives a motion backwards. A fisherman at Guernsey told me that he had frequently seen oysters ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 84, October, 1864 - A Magazine Of Literature, Art, And Politics • Various

... before at last I found mention made of it in a German monograph. The puzzling thing is that it is (as we should say) the last and not the first leg which is so distinguished; but after all, it is only a convention of our own to count the limbs from before backwards. To inspect a lobster's limbs, we lay it on its back (as Aristotle did), and see the legs overlapping, each hinder one above the one before; the hindmost is the first we see, and the one we must first lift up to inspect ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... and sixteen dollars!" he said ruefully. "I've counted them one hundred and sixteen times, backwards, forwards and upside down, these last three days, and I can't get them to grow ...
— The Spoilers of the Valley • Robert Watson

... state of mind, the big athlete would make history for some policeman, his friend could not doubt, before he got there. Rex had put his hand to this intoxicated plow and he must not look back, even when the prospect backwards was so bewilderingly attractive, so tantalizingly easy. He stammered badly when, at length, the silence which followed the soft voice ...
— A Good Samaritan • Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews

... his uncle, turning redder. "It's my handwriting, and that's good enough for her. I did try writing backwards, but I only did it once. I wouldn't do it agin for fifty pounds. You ...
— Short Cruises • W.W. Jacobs

... which conquered several paces of slippery rock at once, commenced the ascent. Some brushwood, and one or two stunted trees, gave him now and then a hold for his hands; and occasional ledges in the rock, a resting for his foot; but still one false step, one failing nerve, and he must have fallen backwards and been dashed to pieces; but to Arthur the danger was his safety. Where he was going, indeed he knew not. He could see no further than the summit of the crag, which appeared like a line against the sky; ...
— The Vale of Cedars • Grace Aguilar

... over our backs, so that we might use our hands, and we were clinging to the face of the big rock while our toes were seeking foothold in the treacherous shale of the trail. To loosen our hands was to fall backwards into the bluish white sea of unknown depths, and to retrace our steps was out of ...
— The Black Wolf Pack • Dan Beard

... the other. All these touchings excited us both to the highest pitch. I suddenly threw off all the covering of the bed and by the aid of the candle examined all her charms. Cordelia made no resistance whatever, but grasping my stiff rod in her hand, commenced to move the foreskin backwards and forwards. I kissed her on the eyes and mouth, and addressed the most endearing epithets to her. She was almost crazy with ...
— The Life and Amours of the Beautiful, Gay and Dashing Kate Percival - The Belle of the Delaware • Kate Percival

... the utterly helpless sensation of a man in a car when his brakes don't work. But a moment later the braking rockets did flare briefly, yet still too long. The Chief was not only stopped, but drifting backwards toward the Platform. He evidently tried to turn, and he spun as dizzily as Joe had done. But after a moment he stopped—almost. There were, then, two red-painted things in space, somewhat like giant water-spiders floating forlornly in emptiness. ...
— Space Tug • Murray Leinster

... he had kissed and that had kissed him in return, eager arms that had clung and clung, eyes of burning adoration! Did they truly belong all to the past? Or were they here beside him even now—even now? Had he wandered backwards perchance into that strange, sweet heaven of love from which he had been so suddenly and terribly cast out? Ah, how he had loved her! How he had loved her! Very faintly there began to stir within him the old fiery longing that she, and she alone, ...
— The Safety Curtain, and Other Stories • Ethel M. Dell

... attractions of the fair Julia, his host's daughter. He was far enough from thinking of spectral visitants, when a very slight noise struck on his ear. Glancing in the direction of the inner door, he thought he saw the heavy table glide backwards from its place. Quick as thought, he caught up a pistol, and challenged the intruder. There was no reply—but the door continued to open, and the table to slide back. At last there glided into the room a tall, graceful figure, robed in white. At the first glance, ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... seemed mounting guard. Travellers of inferior order were preparing to attack this stout repast, while others sat smoking and gossiping over their ale on two high-backed oaken settles beside the fire. Trim housemaids were hurrying backwards and forwards under the directions of a fresh bustling landlady; but still seizing an occasional moment to exchange a flippant word, and have a rallying laugh with the ...
— Vanishing England • P. H. Ditchfield

... appropriate selection seems to have been withheld from him. But he has little reason to complain. Some, at least, of his causes are appreciably nearer victory than when he espoused them; we are even a little nearer looking backwards. One small point in these discursive memoirs will especially delight the mildly cynical—that this worthy pre-Raphaelite, who with his friends had suffered so much from the limitations of view of a mid-Victorian Royal Academy, should be so maliciously ready ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, March 18, 1914 • Various

... morning came the Lord Chamberlain with a lamp, and he nearly fell backwards with surprise when he saw the Shepherd alive and well. He brought him to the King, whose fury was greater than ever, ...
— The Art of the Story-Teller • Marie L. Shedlock

... listened,—because the language of the woman was not the language of a common woman, but the language of a lady of rank.(2) Then he determined at all hazards to get one glimpse of her face; and he crept round the house, backwards and forwards, peering through every crack and chink. And at last he was able to see;—but therewith an icy trembling seized him; and the hair of his head ...
— In Ghostly Japan • Lafcadio Hearn

... an' I'm hopin' ye'll like it fine if you leave us," which last proved to me that such an one secretly prayed for my remaining. The true Scotchman is like the Hebrew language—to be understood, he must be read backwards. ...
— St. Cuthbert's • Robert E. Knowles

... departure, regardless of the warning of her calmer-minded daughter that probably the roads would be far more full of peril than their own house could ever be, if they strictly shut it up, lived upon the produce of their own park and dairy, and suffered none to go backwards and forwards to bring ...
— In the Days of Chivalry • Evelyn Everett-Green

... that they bend under their own weight, and hang down the creature's sides in the reverse of their normal position. The free extremities, which normally point backwards, are now pointing towards the cricket's head as it hangs reversed. The organs of future flight are like four leaves of withered foliage ...
— Social Life in the Insect World • J. H. Fabre

... words "and the Man at the Helm shall speak to no one." So remonstrance was impossible, and no steering could be done till the next varnishing day. During these bewildering intervals the ship usually sailed backwards. ...
— The Hunting of the Snark - an Agony, in Eight Fits • Lewis Carroll

... Arnold: 'We are all in the midst of confusion,' Arnold writes from Laleham, 'the books all packed and half the furniture; and on Tuesday, if God will, we shall leave this dear place, this nine-years' home of such exceeding happiness. But it boots not to look backwards. Forward, forward, forward, should be one's motto.' And thus Arnold moved to Rugby, and made history! There are times when the landlord's gate is the ...
— Mushrooms on the Moor • Frank Boreham

... considerable height into the water. He struggled across the channel to the sand-bank, and in an incredibly short space of time stood in front of the savage, against whom my aim had been directed. Seizing him by the throat, he pushed backwards, and forcing all who were in the water upon the bank, he trod its margin with a vehemence and an agitation that were exceedingly striking. At one moment pointing to the boat, at another shaking his clenched hand in the faces of the most forward, and stamping ...
— Two Expeditions into the Interior of Southern Australia, Complete • Charles Sturt

... to know how to die right. I should think, judge, that Sam Kimper had been converting you over again and doing it backwards. That fellow has only got hold of one end of the Scripture—one little jag end ...
— All He Knew - A Story • John Habberton

... associated with but few in their own rank of life; but now and then received visits from their superiors; amongst these were two, whom I shall never, never cease to remember, and to lament, and to whom, as I look backwards through the vista of five-and-thirty years, I still cannot forbear imagining that I was related by no common ties. Of this interesting pair, one was a lady, young, pale, but strikingly beautiful, and the other, a cavalier, her senior but by ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction - Vol. 19, Issue 530, January 21, 1832 • Various

... in tugging off the boots. She almost fell backwards, but recovered herself, and began unwinding the strips of rag which were wrapped round the vagrant's legs. On the sole of his foot there was ...
— A Desperate Character and Other Stories • Ivan Turgenev

... coming up in a day or two and tar all their noses," said Ned, dealing out the salt in numerous handfuls, throwing it down on smooth spots upon the grass, and running backwards to avoid the ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... the room, retreating backwards, with hands clasped and eyes cast upwards, as if imploring blessings on the religious man whom they venerated so highly. The door of the apartment was shut after them, but not before Fairford had perceived that there were one or two men in the gallery, ...
— Redgauntlet • Sir Walter Scott

... and effort as unique in all time, as necessary in itself, and as the messenger of reformation for all ages, working forwards and backwards, offering and giving to mankind all that it needs, and all that it perpetually seeks on every side. I have no complaint to make if others think otherwise about it; I can bear with them;[122] I can even, if need be, live with them, and this I have actually done; ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... strokes of the brush stirred the dull gold that slept in its ashen furrows. A shining undulation passed through it, and broke, at the ends, as it were, into a curling golden foam. Then Anne stood up and tossed it backwards. Her brush went deep and straight, like a ploughshare, turning up the rich, smooth swell of the under-gold; it went light on the top, till numberless little threads of hair rippled, and rose, and knitted themselves, and lay on her head like a fine gold net; then, with a few swift swimming ...
— The Helpmate • May Sinclair

... mind was incapable of that. It was merely a quiet rehearsal of all the facts, that their vividness might be made more vivid, and their effect brought home more tenderly to her heart. For a long hour she sat on the foot of her bed, now weeping, now smiling, now tossing her lovely head backwards, then burying her sweet face in her hands. At times a shadow would flit over the delicate features, but it would soon be replaced by a glamor of serenity, until finally her whole demeanor settled into ...
— The Bastonnais - Tale of the American Invasion of Canada in 1775-76 • John Lesperance

... pulled away that it covers a fleshy part, can not easily identify the point of stimulation. Such transpositions may be made intentionally in this experiment, but they occur frequently through vigorous twists of the body. When the upper part of the body is drawn backwards, while one is sitting down, a collection of such transpositions occur and it is very hard then to localize a blow or stab. So, too, when an arm is held backward in such a way as to turn the flat of the hand uppermost. It is still more difficult ...
— Robin Hood • J. Walker McSpadden

... run or stay, but I stayed, and as soon as the old woman got in sight, I sat on the ground and began to rock my body backwards ...
— Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country • Joel Chandler Harris

... the courtyard stood Martha, moving her right hand backwards and forwards in the air. The cook was stooping down and moving her hands, also in a very curious way. But. the oddest and at the same time most terrible thing was the Lamb, who was sitting on nothing, about three feet from ...
— Five Children and It • E. Nesbit

... the couch of his guest, whom he found apparently asleep, though, in truth, the slumber was simulated out of deference to the anxieties of the old man. Several times he passed backwards and forwards from the chamber to the door before he had the satisfaction to find the object of his search. At length, a canoe was discovered coming up the river, containing two persons, who, on nearer approach, were seen to be Indians, a man and a woman, belonging to the remnant of a tribe, ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... BRIDGE, COWES.—East Cowes is reached by crossing in this bridge, which goes backwards and forwards across the mouth of the Medina, conveying carts, carriages, coaches, and motor cars, as well as passengers. It works on chains which pass under it, fastened to the shore at each end. It is a novel experience to many people when they find ...
— Pictures in Colour of the Isle of Wight • Various

... action of a person under the exclusive domination of one of these vices? Let me paint the person with these traits, and I shall have a figure that perforce must call up the vice in question." So he paints "Inconstancy" as a woman with a blank face, her arms held out aimlessly, her torso falling backwards, her feet on the side of a wheel. It makes one giddy to look at her. "Injustice," is a powerfully built man in the vigour of his years dressed in the costume of a judge, with his left hand clenching the hilt of his sword, and his clawed right hand grasping a double hooked lance. His cruel ...
— The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance - With An Index To Their Works • Bernhard Berenson

... there had been a duty on them it would have bankrupted me to pay it. They kept me in my room, unclothed, and in persistent pain for two weeks, with no company but cigars and the little volume of poems. Of course I read them almost constantly; I read them from beginning to end, then read them backwards, then began in the middle and read them both ways, then read them wrong end first and upside down. In a word, I read the book to rags, and was infinitely grateful to the hand that ...
— Chapters from My Autobiography • Mark Twain

... made two hundred yards before the blue line saw them through the haze. The hill blazed and hissed in their faces. The massed infantry behind the guns found their marks. Men dropped right and left, sank in grey heaps or fell forward on their faces—some were knocked backwards down the slope. Yet without ...
— The Southerner - A Romance of the Real Lincoln • Thomas Dixon

... could have been thrown. Perhaps being lighter and of larger bulk than the other things, it might have been jerked farther off, and rolling away got jammed in the casks or cases. My search proved to me that it could not be close beneath the kelson; I therefore felt backwards and forwards everywhere I could get my hand. I tried to recollect whether I had, when last taking a biscuit out, fixed on the head tightly or not. Having smashed it in, in order to broach the cask, it was not very easy to do so, and I had ...
— Dick Cheveley - His Adventures and Misadventures • W. H. G. Kingston

... accurate recollection; perfect memory, total recall. celebrity, fame, renown, reputation &c (repute) 873. V. remember, mind; retain the memory of, retain the remembrance of; keep in view. recognize, recollect, bethink oneself, recall, call up, retrace; look back, trace back, trace backwards; think back, look back upon; review; call upon, recall upon, bring to mind, bring to remembrance; carry one's thoughts back; rake up the past. have in the thoughts, hold in the thoughts, bear in the thoughts, carry in the thoughts, keep in the thoughts, ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... give chase and who were to stay with himself: he never allowed the whole army to be broken up. [59] Thus Cyrus conducted the advance, but it is not to be thought that he kept to one particular spot; he was always galloping backwards and forwards, first at one point and then at another, supervising everything and supplying any defect as it arose. Thus Cyrus and his men ...
— Cyropaedia - The Education Of Cyrus • Xenophon

... woodwork, found its way through the divisions of the windows. There was something very dreary in the sound, and very odd in the varying shades of red which appeared upon the curtains as they swerved backwards and ...
— Aunt Judy's Tales • Mrs Alfred Gatty

... before he could lay hands on the butcher he received a blow from his ox-like fist that sent him reeling backwards for several paces, and finally stretched him at full length upon the ground. His companions drew their swords, and would have instantly fallen upon the sturdy offender, if Morgan Fenwolf, who, with the Earl of Surrey, was standing among the spectators, had not rushed ...
— Windsor Castle • William Harrison Ainsworth

... the limb of the ostrich, which is beautiful so long as we see it in its swift uplifting along the desert sands, and trace in the tread of it her scorn of the horse and his rider, but would infinitely lose of its impressiveness, if we could see the spring ligament playing backwards and forwards in alternate jerks over the tubercle at the hock joint. Take again the action of the dorsal fin of the shark tribe. So long as we observe the uniform energy of motion in the whole frame, the lash of the tail, bound of body, and instantaneous lowering of the dorsal, to avoid the resistance ...
— Modern Painters Volume II (of V) • John Ruskin

... him very far gone, I watched an opportunity, and ran out of the cabin, resolving to seek protection of the sea if I could find no other; but Heaven was now graciously pleased to relieve me; for in his attempt to pursue me he reeled backwards, and, falling down the cabbin stairs, he dislocated his shoulder and so bruised himself that I was not only preserved that night from any danger of my intended ravisher, but the accident threw him into a fever which endangered his ...
— The History of the Life of the Late Mr. Jonathan Wild the Great • Henry Fielding

... blade. To lap this tightly with a string, was my next idea; but I perceived at once that this would not do. The string would be stretched by the action of the blade, and the latter would soon get loose. If the sharp edge only came against the twine, while the blade was being worked backwards and forwards, it would instantly sever it, and then the blade would pull out, perhaps drop down among the boxes, and so get lost. Such an accident would be fatal to my prospects; and, if possible, I ...
— The Boy Tar • Mayne Reid

... boasted excellence of all classical education is in nothing so conspicuous as in the fact that Greek and Latin cannot be converted into money as readily as vulgar fractions and a bold handwriting. Being a woman, as I have observed, Mrs O'D. would have read the argument backwards, and stood out for the rule-of-three against Sophocles and "all his works." I simply replied, with that dignity which is natural to me, "I am proud of my knowledge of life; I do recognise in myself the analyst of that strange ...
— Cornelius O'Dowd Upon Men And Women And Other Things In General - Originally Published In Blackwood's Magazine - 1864 • Charles Lever

... flow of the Thames being at first checked, and finally almost or quite stopped by the formation of these banks, the water turned backwards as it were, and began to cover hitherto dry land. And this, with the other lesser rivers and brooks that no longer had any ultimate outlet, accounts for the Lake, so far as this side of the ...
— After London - Wild England • Richard Jefferies

... extemporary lectures. You are now on the open sea, and "will go on swimmingly." Always keep the young men well in mind, and arrange your lectures entirely for them. I should think that the history of Greek literature (with glances backwards and forwards) after O. Mueller's "History of Greek Literature," would be a fine subject. Mure's book gives many an impulse for further thought. In what concerns the Latin inscriptions, you must rely on Gruter's "Thesaurus," after him on Morelli; of the more recent, only on Borghese ...
— Chips From A German Workshop. Vol. III. • F. Max Mueller

... then, you would either stop, or go into the house." Helen's voice was stern, and Alfaretta looked at her with reproachful eyes; then covering her face with her hands, she rocked backwards and ...
— John Ward, Preacher • Margaret Deland

... sensual pleasure, the profile and whole frame of the body must alter. The projection of the mouth would render the nose short and small, the forehead would incline backwards, and the face would have at a distance the resemblance of that of an ape. Conformably to this would be the position of the neck, the transition to the occiput, and the elastic structure of the whole body, which ...
— The Right of American Slavery • True Worthy Hoit

... other times the weeds were so thick as in some measure to impede the progress of the vessels, and to occasion terror lest what is fabulously reported of St Amaro, in the frozen sea, might happen to them, that they might be so enveloped in the weeds as to be unable to move backwards or forwards; wherefore they steered away from those shoals of weeds as much ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. III. • Robert Kerr

... is opinionative, as he has some title to be, but very learned, and with a juster view of his subject than is commonly entertained, for he traces words to the same source—not from sound but sense. He casts backwards thus to the root, while many compare the ends of the twigs without ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... he has had a hemorrhage. Carefully, now. (They carry him in. The stage remains empty for a moment. Then the EDITOR comes back, wiping his forehead. He walks backwards and forwards, treading on the paper as he goes, but without ...
— Three Dramas - The Editor—The Bankrupt—The King • Bjornstjerne M. Bjornson

... for twenty centuries exactly balanced each other, and that the mean temperature of the earth has neither increased nor diminished in all that period. Had the solar radiation been, previously to that epoch, in excess, it must at the more recent periods, counted backwards, have been but slightly so, and ages unnumbered must have elapsed, before the state of equilibrium which now exists could have been reached. The earth too, at distant periods, must have been colder than at present, while that the contrary is true is ...
— The American Quarterly Review, No. 17, March 1831 • Various

... carrying him in under the Norwegian coast; while on the other hand, if he tried to beat to windward, he risked coming into collision with the ice-floes. Added to that, he was not very clear as to his position; and as the gale increased, he began to pace restlessly backwards and forwards, addressing, every now and then, a word down to one of the helmsmen, whose forms could be seen by the ...
— The Pilot and his Wife • Jonas Lie

... strong-minded; and when the hour for adjournment arrived, one of the members of the Committee remarked he regretted that a longer time could not have been given to the ladies. To those who think the cause of woman suffrage has gone backwards, we commend the proceedings of this meeting ...
— History of Woman Suffrage, Volume II • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Matilda Joslyn Gage

... the gesture must have seemed one of double significance. It was at once a sign of acceptance of their food and flowers, and their offer of good-will, and at the same time an order to withdraw. They bowed, and moved backwards away from him. Behind him ...
— Divinity • William Morrison

... hair, it whispered in the ear, and stirred the music in the blood. The leaves of the trees were murmuring with rustling delight. And the ceaseless sound of the ocean made all the mute longings of the heart of man and maid surge backwards and forwards on ...
— The Hungry Stones And Other Stories • Rabindranath Tagore

... Bigot stepped backwards. He was not sure but a poniard glittered in the clenched hand of Angelique. It was but the flash of her diamond rings as she lifted it suddenly. She ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... cut like a knife through northern France until its edge was blunted by a wall of steel, began on September 5 and increased in momentum as the allied troops followed hard upon the enemy's heels. The great mass of the German left swung backwards in a steady and orderly way, not losing many men and not demoralized by this amazing turn in Fortune's wheel. "It is frightfully disappointing," wrote a German officer whose letter was found afterwards on his dead body. "We believed that we should enter Paris ...
— The Soul of the War • Philip Gibbs

... tennis, with a stump-leg barrel-organ strapped to his shoulder. But it is a shy bird in this plumage. Lord Lundie strove to disembarrass himself of his accoutrements much as an ill-trained Punch and Judy dog tries to escape backwards through his frilled collar. Sir Christopher, covered with limewash, cherished a bleeding thumb, and the almost crazy monkey tore ...
— Actions and Reactions • Rudyard Kipling

... added Mallard, his eyes happening to catch Cecily's face as it looked backwards, ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... pursued by Debon till he came to a chasm 132 feet across which he leaped; but slipping on the opposite side, he fell backwards into the ...
— Character Sketches of Romance, Fiction and the Drama, Vol 1 - A Revised American Edition of the Reader's Handbook • The Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D.

... frills out and their tails arched, growling. Rover, also, walks about on tiptoe, arches his tail, and growls with the best of them. He knows that the slightest mistake would be disastrous, and so manoeuvres till he gets to the porch, where, a deal of gravel having been kicked backwards, in the same way as the ancients poured out their wine when they drank a toast, or else (as I think is more probable) as a symbol that animosities were to be buried, Rover is admitted as a guest, and Sam feels it safe to ...
— The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn • Henry Kingsley

... into a little girl, clad in something dark purple below, and above with a bright scarlet cloaklet, which flew out and streamed back, beneath the floating locks of glistening gold that glinted in the sun, as with a hand on each rail of the bridge she swung herself backwards and forwards with the most bewildering rapidity. Suddenly becoming aware of the approach of strangers, she stood for one moment gazing in astonishment, then fled so swiftly that she almost seemed to fly, and vanished in ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... up high, Never mind, baby, mother is nigh; Crow and caper, caper and crow, There, little baby, there you go. Up to the ceiling, down to the ground, Backwards and forwards, round and round; So dance, little baby, and mother will sing, With a high cockolorum and ...
— A History of Nursery Rhymes • Percy B. Green

... the other girls, with peals of laughter, and in the most tormenting, insolent, jeering way we continued shouting "No, no!" running backwards all the time in obedience to the sisters, who, veiled and hidden behind the trees, were ...
— My Double Life - The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt • Sarah Bernhardt

... fashionable quarter. Here many of the nobility and personages connected with the court had their houses, and broad country fields and lanes separated it from the stir and din of London. Dr. Sandwith had a good practice, but he had also a large family. Harry was at Westminster, going backwards and forwards across the fields to school. So far he had evinced no predilection for any special career. He was a sturdy, well-built lad of some sixteen years old. He was, as his father said, not likely to set the Thames on fire in any way. He was as undistinguished ...
— In the Reign of Terror - The Adventures of a Westminster Boy • G. A. Henty

... nervously, something within oppressing her breathing, while all shapes and sounds seemed in the uncertain half-light to strike her with unaccustomed vividness. Moments of doubt were continually coming upon her, when she was uncertain whether the train were going forwards or backwards, or were standing still altogether; whether it were Annushka at her side or a stranger. "What's that on the arm of the chair, a fur cloak or some beast? And what am I myself? Myself or some other woman?" She was afraid of giving way to this delirium. But something ...
— Anna Karenina • Leo Tolstoy

... vernation are revolute, the opposite of involute, where the leaf is rolled backwards towards the midrib; circinate, rolled from the apex downwards, as we see in ferns; and corrugate, when the leaf is crumpled ...
— Outlines of Lessons in Botany, Part I; From Seed to Leaf • Jane H. Newell

... form a point d'appui, and gives the firmness of a tripod to the figure, without which it would be difficult to conceive, placed as the feet are, how the courser could maintain his ground without tumbling backwards. This bold conception has fortunately fallen into the custody of one by whom it is duly valued; for, when Dick, in his more advanced state of proficiency, became dubious of the propriety of so daring a deviation to execute a picture of the publican himself ...
— Bride of Lammermoor • Sir Walter Scott

... already retired. They of course insisted upon seeing him; and he presently appeared, wrapped in a dressing-gown, and haughtily demanded their business with him at such an hour. The answer smote him as with a thunderbolt, and he staggered backwards, till arrested by the wall of the apartment, and then sank feebly, nervelessly, into a chair. Eagerly, after a pause, he questioned the intruders upon the nature of the evidence against him. Mr. Sharpe briefly ...
— The Experiences of a Barrister, and Confessions of an Attorney • Samuel Warren

... intimacy with Dr. Franklin, and his position with the Ministry, induced him to undertake a mediation between them; in which his sister seemed to have been associated. They carried from one to the other, backwards and forwards, the several propositions and answers which passed, and seconded with their own intercessions, the importance of mutual sacrifices, to preserve the peace and connection of the two countries. ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... gladly eat the fruit of both when given to them. The greater part of their land is laid down to pasturage; little is cultivated, a very small quantity is ornamented with flowers, and a still smaller is sown. They seldom yoke less than four oxen to their ploughs; the driver walks before, but backwards, and when he falls down, is frequently exposed to danger from the refractory oxen. Instead of small sickles in mowing, they make use of a moderate-sized piece of iron formed like a knife, with two pieces ...
— The Description of Wales • Geraldus Cambrensis

... the two friends had chosen for their journey was that of the great fair of Beaucaire, which was famous throughout Christendom. Ships were sailing backwards and forwards along the coast with cargoes of rich goods or the money for which they had been sold, and the Turkish pirates ...
— Life of St. Vincent de Paul • F.A. [Frances Alice] Forbes

... ornament and improvement of it, to be added by those that should come after him, that being too much for one man to bring to perfection. Their records, that contain the history of their town and state, are preserved with an exact care, and run backwards 1,760 years. From these it appears that their houses were at first low and mean, like cottages, made of any sort of timber, and were built with mud walls and thatched with straw. But now their houses are three stories high: the ...
— Ideal Commonwealths • Various

... had clutched the tiny, beautiful pistol with which her father had trusted her, and which she had hidden inside her frock. True, she was shaking with the terrible excitement of the moment, she was nearly dragged off her feet by the horse's plunging backwards, and a correct aim seemed almost impossible—but her father had told her to defend Angelot's wife, and Riette was very sure that this wicked man should not carry away Helene, as long as she had ...
— Angelot - A Story of the First Empire • Eleanor Price

... they perceived a strange sensation, as if the steamboat had been suddenly pushed backwards. Marco was startled. He did not know ...
— Forests of Maine - Marco Paul's Adventures in Pursuit of Knowledge • Jacob S. Abbott

... fifty cocks and fifty kids, to appease their angry gods, and, in fact, some of the poor deluded creatures will go with a sword run through their cheeks in the fleshy part, and kept hanging in that position for some days, continually dance backwards and forwards through the different bazars; others have the palms of their hands pierced with a sword; others have their breasts burnt, and others again have an instrument run through their tongue in order to calm the wrath of their offended deities; nor can they, in their opinions, put ...
— Narrative of a Voyage to India; of a Shipwreck on board the Lady Castlereagh; and a Description of New South Wales • W. B. Cramp

... wrote squibs on Spruggins, and got his butcher to skewer them up on conspicuous joints in his shop-front; frightened his neighbour, the old lady, into a palpitation of the heart, by his awful denunciations of Spruggins's party; and bounced in and out, and up and down, and backwards and forwards, until all the sober inhabitants of the parish thought it inevitable that he must die of a brain fever, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... wafted nearer to their God. Whatsoever forces act upon us, if we put the helm right and trim the sails as we ought, they will carry us to our haven. And whatsoever forces act upon us, if we neglect the sailor's skill and duty, we shall be washed backwards and forwards in the trough of the sea, and make no progress in the voyage. 'Then had the Church rest'—and grew lazy? 'Then had the Church rest'—and grew worldly? Then was I happy and prosperous and peaceful in my home and in my ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts • Alexander Maclaren

... as if they had set the English squadron at defiance; for the walls of Havre de Grace, and even the adjacent hills, were covered with spectators, assembled to behold the issue of this adventure. Having reached the river of Caen, they stood backwards and forwards upon the shoals, intending to amuse admiral Rodney till night, and then proceed under cover of the darkness. He perceived their drift, and gave directions to his small vessels to be ready, that, as soon as day-light ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... ye saw it did the now. It is weel kenned that a corp canna lie still in a room with the door hafflins open. I rose to lock it, the catch is crazy. I was backing to the door, with my face to the feet o' the corp. I saw them move backwards, slow they moved, and my heart stood still in my breist. Then I saw'—here she stepped to the head of the bed and drew apart the curtains, which opened in the middle—'I saw the curtain was open, and naething but blackness ahint it. Ye see, my Lord, ahint the bed-heid ...
— The Disentanglers • Andrew Lang

... his mind with joy over the prospect of looking straight in the eye—if it has one—this wicked old germ with a new label, and telling it what he thinks. The technical terms he gives are as paralyzing as a Russian name spelled backwards. ...
— The Lady and Sada San - A Sequel to The Lady of the Decoration • Frances Little

... no inclination. "He passed among his school-fellows as a strange and unsocial being; for when a holiday relieved us from our tasks, and the other boys were engaged in such sports as the narrow limits of our prison-court allowed, Shelley, who entered into none of them, would pace backwards and forwards—I think I see him now—along the southern wall, indulging in various vague and undefined ideas, the chaotic elements, if I may say so, of what afterwards produced so ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley • John Addington Symonds

... and breathe and rejoice in air and sunshine. Without these moments of rest the conditions of life at present and the constitutions for which the new word "nervy" has had to be invented, will give us tempers and temperaments incapable of repose and solitude. A child alone in a swing, kicking itself backwards and forwards, is at rest; alone in its little garden it has complete rest of mind with the joy of seeing its own plants grow; alone in a field picking wild flowers it is as near to the heart of primitive existence as it is possible to be. Although these joys of solitude are only attainable ...
— The Education of Catholic Girls • Janet Erskine Stuart

... Bishop of Bangor's leave, become to signify a collection of ideas very different from its original meaning; with some it implies party, with others private opinion, and with most interest, and perhaps, in time, may signify some other country. When this good innocent word has been tossed backwards and forwards a little longer, some new reformer of language may arise to reduce it to its primitive signification—the real interest of Great Britain!" The antagonist of this controversialist probably ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli



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