• IPA: /ˈbæk.ɡɹaʊnd/

background (not comparable)

  1. Less important or less noticeable in a scene or system.
    background noise
    The antivirus program runs on a background thread.
Antonyms Noun


  1. One's social heritage, or previous life; what one did in the past.
    The lawyer had a background in computer science.
  2. A part of the picture that depicts scenery to the rear or behind the main subject; context.
  3. Information relevant to the current situation about past events; history.
  4. A less important feature of scenery (as opposed to foreground).
    There was tons of noise in the background.
    The photographer let us pick a background for the portrait.
  5. (computing) The image or color over which a computer's desktop items are shown (e.g. icons or application windows).
  6. (computing) A type of activity on a computer that is not normally visible to the user.
    The antivirus program is running in the background.
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: fond
  • German: Hintergrund
  • Italian: secondo piano, sottofondo
  • Portuguese: segundo plano
  • Russian: фо́н
  • Spanish: segundo plano
Translations Translations
  • French: tâche de fond, en arrière-plan
  • German: Hintergrund
  • Italian: sottofondo, in sordina
  • Portuguese: segundo plano
  • Russian: фо́новый режи́м
  • Spanish: segundo plano

background (backgrounds, present participle backgrounding; past and past participle backgrounded)

  1. To put in a position that is not prominent.
    • 2006, Paul Baker, Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis, page 163:
      One aspect of the story that appears interesting is that the alleged rapist and victim are only referred to by name together in the same sentence once. In all the other sentences, one receives more focus, while the other is backgrounded.
  2. (journalism) To gather and provide background information (on).

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