(Back"stairs`, Back"stair`), a. Private; indirect; secret; intriguing; as if finding access by the
A backstairs influence.
Female caprice and backstair influence.
(Back"stay`) n. [Back, a. or n. + stay.]
1. (Naut.) A rope or stay extending from the masthead to the side of a ship, slanting a little aft, to assist
the shrouds in supporting the mast. [Often used in the plural.]
2. A rope or strap used to prevent excessive forward motion.
(Back"ster) n. [See Baxter.] A baker. [Obs.]
(Back"stitch`) n. [Back, adv. + stitch.] A stitch made by setting the needle back of the end
of the last stitch, and bringing it out in front of the end.
(Back"stitch`), v. t. To sew with backstitches; as, to backstitch a seam.
(Back"stress) n. A female baker. [Obs.]
(Back"sword`) n. [2d back, n. + sword.]
1. A sword with one sharp edge.
2. In England, a stick with a basket handle, used in rustic amusements; also, the game in which the stick
is used. Also called singlestick. Halliwell.
(Back"ward Back"wards) adv. [Back, adv. + -ward.]
1. With the back in advance or foremost; as, to ride backward.
2. Toward the back; toward the rear; as, to throw the arms backward.
3. On the back, or with the back downward.
Thou wilt fall backward.
4. Toward, or in, past time or events; ago.
Some reigns backward.
5. By way of reflection; reflexively. Sir J. Davies.
6. From a better to a worse state, as from honor to shame, from religion to sin.
The work went backward.
7. In a contrary or reverse manner, way, or direction; contrarily; as, to read backwards.
We might have . . . beat them backward home.
1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances.