Last modified on 13 May 2015, at 19:41





background (not generally comparable, comparative further background, superlative furthest background)

  1. Less important in a scenery.
    background noise.



background (plural backgrounds)

  1. One's social heritage; what one did in the past/previously.
    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.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, “An Acoustic Arms Race”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7: 
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close [] above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them. Many insects probably use this strategy, which is a close analogy to crypsis in the visible world — camouflage and other methods for blending into one’s visual background.
  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) Activity on a computer that is not normally visible to the user.
    The antivirus program is running in the background.

Derived termsEdit


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background (third-person singular simple present backgrounds, present participle backgrounding, simple past and past participle backgrounded)

  1. To put in a position that is not prominent