Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: behindan, from hindan 'from behind'

behind

1 preposition, adverb
     
be‧hind1 S1 W1
1 at or towards the back of a thing or person:
I turned to speak to the person standing behind me.
Someone could easily creep up behind us.
The car behind was hooting impatiently.
Jane shut the door behind her.
The manager was sitting behind a large desk.
close behind/not far behind
He set off down the road with the rest of us following close behind.
! Do not say 'behind of': He hid behind a chair (NOT behind of a chair).
2 not as successful or not having made as much progress as someone or something else:
Mark's always behind the rest of his class in mathematics.
This victory lifts Ferguson's team into fifth place, nine points behind leaders Norwich.
Europe was falling behind in the important field of computer technology.
3 used to say that someone is late in doing what they have to do:
This work should have been finished yesterday. I'm getting terribly behind.
Victor had fallen behind with his mortgage payments after losing his job.
an important research project that is already two years behind schedule (=not ready at the time planned)
4 used for talking about the hidden reason for something:
I wonder what's behind this change of plan.
Perhaps a bitter experience lay behind her anger.
5 supporting a person, idea etc:
The workers are very much behind these proposals.
I suppose I'm lucky because my parents were behind me all the way.
6 responsible for a plan, idea etc or for organizing something:
It was alleged that foreign agents were behind the recent violence.
The Rotary Club is behind the fund-raising for the new hospital.
7 if an unpleasant experience or situation is behind you, it no longer upsets you or affects your life:
Now you can put all these worries behind you.
a chance to start a new life and leave all your troubles behind
8 if you have experience behind you, you have gained valuable skills or important qualities that can be used:
Marjorie is one of the top designers in the business, with years of experience behind her.
9 used when the real facts about a situation or someone's character are hidden by the way things seem or by the way a person behaves:
We were determined to find the truth behind this mystery.
You could see the burning hatred behind Graham's calm manner.
10 if a student stays behind after school or after a lesson, they stay after it has finished

➔ behind somebody's back

at back2 (9)

; ➔ behind bars

at bar1 (7)

; ➔ behind the times

at time1 (38)

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