(Back"stairs`, Back"stair`), a. Private; indirect; secret; intriguing; — as if finding access by the back stairs.

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.

(Back"ward), a.

1. Directed to the back or rear; as, backward glances.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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