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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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BACK, n.

1. The upper part of an animal, particularly of a quadruped, whose back is a ridge. In human beings, the hinder part of the body.

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2. The outward or convex part of the hand, opposed to the inner, concave part, or palm.

3. As the back of man is the part on the side opposite to the face; hence the part opposed to the front; as the back of a book and of a chimney, or the back of a house.

4. The part opposite to or most remote from that which fronts the speaker or actor, or the part out of sight; as the back of an isle, of a wood, of a village.

5. As the back is the strongest part of an animal, and as the back is behind in motion; hence the thick and strong part of a cutting tool; as the back of a knife, or of a saw.

6. The place behind or nearest the back; as, on the back of a hill or of a village.

7. The outer part of the body, or the whole body; a part for the whole; as, he has not clothes to his back.

8. To turn the back on one, is to forsake, or neglect him.

9. To turn the back to one, to acknowledge to be superior.

10. To turn the back, is to depart, or to leave the care or cognizance of; to remove or be absent.

11. Behind the back, is in secret, or when one is absent.

12. To cast behind the back, in scripture, is to forget and forgive, Is.xxxviii, 17; or to treat with contempt. Ez.xxiii.35. Neh.ix.26.

13. To plow the back, is to oppress and persecute. Ps.cxxix.

14. To bow the back, is to submit to oppression. Rom.xi.10.

BACK, adv. To the place from which one came; as, to go back is to return.

2. In a figurative sense, to a former state, condition or station; as, he cannot go back from his engagements.

3. Behind; not advancing; not coming or bringing forward; as, to keep back a part; to keep one's selfback.

4. Towards times or things past; as, to look back on former ages.

5. Again; in return; as, give back the money.

6. To go or come back, is to return, either to a former place, or state.

7. To go or give back, is to retreat to recede.

BACK, v.t. To mount; to get upon the back; sometimes perhaps to place upon the back; as, to back a horse.

2. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid; as, the Court was backed by the House of Commons.

3. To put backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.

4. To back a warrant, is for a justice of the peace in the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender.

5. In seamanship, to back an anchor is to lay down a small anchor ahead of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened to the crown of the large one, to prevent its coming home.

6. To back astern, in rowing, is to manage the oars in a direction contrary to the usual method, to move a boat stern

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foremost.

7. To back the sails,is to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern.

BACK, v.i. To move or go back; as, the horse refuses to back.




Evolution (or devolution) of this word [back]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

BACK, n.

1. The upper part of an animal, particularly of a quadruped, whose back is a ridge. In human beings, the hinder part of the body.

4

2. The outward or convex part of the hand, opposed to the inner, concave part, or palm.

3. As the back of man is the part on the side opposite to the face; hence the part opposed to the front; as the back of a book and of a chimney, or the back of a house.

4. The part opposite to or most remote from that which fronts the speaker or actor, or the part out of sight; as the back of an isle, of a wood, of a village.

5. As the back is the strongest part of an animal, and as the back is behind in motion; hence the thick and strong part of a cutting tool; as the back of a knife, or of a saw.

6. The place behind or nearest the back; as, on the back of a hill or of a village.

7. The outer part of the body, or the whole body; a part for the whole; as, he has not clothes to his back.

8. To turn the back on one, is to forsake, or neglect him.

9. To turn the back to one, to acknowledge to be superior.

10. To turn the back, is to depart, or to leave the care or cognizance of; to remove or be absent.

11. Behind the back, is in secret, or when one is absent.

12. To cast behind the back, in scripture, is to forget and forgive, Is.xxxviii, 17; or to treat with contempt. Ez.xxiii.35. Neh.ix.26.

13. To plow the back, is to oppress and persecute. Ps.cxxix.

14. To bow the back, is to submit to oppression. Rom.xi.10.

BACK, adv. To the place from which one came; as, to go back is to return.

2. In a figurative sense, to a former state, condition or station; as, he cannot go back from his engagements.

3. Behind; not advancing; not coming or bringing forward; as, to keep back a part; to keep one's selfback.

4. Towards times or things past; as, to look back on former ages.

5. Again; in return; as, give back the money.

6. To go or come back, is to return, either to a former place, or state.

7. To go or give back, is to retreat to recede.

BACK, v.t. To mount; to get upon the back; sometimes perhaps to place upon the back; as, to back a horse.

2. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid; as, the Court was backed by the House of Commons.

3. To put backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.

4. To back a warrant, is for a justice of the peace in the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender.

5. In seamanship, to back an anchor is to lay down a small anchor ahead of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened to the crown of the large one, to prevent its coming home.

6. To back astern, in rowing, is to manage the oars in a direction contrary to the usual method, to move a boat stern

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foremost.

7. To back the sails,is to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern.

BACK, v.i. To move or go back; as, the horse refuses to back.


BACK, adv.

  1. To the place from which one came; as, to go back, is to return.
  2. In a figurative sense, to a former state, condition or station; as, he can not go back from his engagements.
  3. Behind; not advancing; not coming or bringing forward; as, to keep back a part; to keep one's self back.
  4. Toward times or things past; as, to look back on former ages.
  5. Again; in return; as, to give back the money.
  6. To go or come back, is to return, either to a former place, or state.
  7. To go or give back, is to retreat, to recede.

BACK, n. [Sax. bac, bæc; Dan. bag; Sw. bak; and Sw. backe, bakke, a hill, a clod or lump. The sense probably is a ridge, like the Ger. rücken, D. rug, applied to the shoulders, or to the back of a beast.]

  1. The upper part of an animal, particularly of a quadruped, whose back is a ridge. In human beings, the hinder part of the body.
  2. The outward or convex part of the hand, opposed to the inner, concave part, or palm.
  3. As the back of a man is the part on the side opposite to the face; hence the part opposed to the front; as, the back of a book, and of a chimney, or the back of a house.
  4. The part opposite to or most remote from that which fronts the speaker or actor, or the part out of sight; as, the back of an isle, of a wood, of a village.
  5. As the back is the strongest part of an animal, and as the back is behind in motion; hence the thick and strong part of a cutting tool; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.
  6. The place behind or nearest the back; as, on the back of a hill, or of a village.
  7. The outer part of the body, or the whole body; a part for the whole; as, he has not clothes to his back.
  8. To turn the back on one, is to forsake, or neglect him. – South.
  9. To turn the back to one, to acknowledge to be superior.
  10. To turn the back, is to depart, or to leave the care or cognizance of; to remove or be absent. – Davies.
  11. Behind the back, is in secret, or when one is absent.
  12. To cast behind the back, in Scripture, is to forget and forgive. Is. xxxviii. 17; or to treat with contempt. Ezek. xxiii. 35. Neh. ix. 26.
  13. To plow the back, is to oppress and persecute. – Ps. cxxix.
  14. To bow the back, is to submit to oppression. – Rom. xi. 10.

BACK, v.i.

To move or go back; as, the horse refuses to back. – Encyc.


BACK, v.t.

  1. To mount; to get upon the back; sometimes, perhaps, to place upon the back; as, to back a horse. – Shak.
  2. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid; as, the Court was backed by the House of Commons. – Dryden.
  3. To put backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.
  4. To back a warrant, is for a justice of the peace in the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender. – Blackstone.
  5. In seamanship, to back an anchor, is to lay down a small anchor ahead of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened to the crown of the large one, to prevent its coming home.
  6. To back astern, in rowing, is to manage the oars in a direction contrary to the usual method, to move a boat stern foremost.
  7. To back the sails, is to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern. – Mar. Dict.

Back
  1. A large shallow vat; a cistern, tub, or trough, used by brewers, distillers, dyers, picklers, gluemakers, and others, for mixing or cooling wort, holding water, hot glue, etc.

    Hop back, Jack back, the cistern which receives the infusion of malt and hops from the copper. -- Wash back, a vat in which distillers ferment the wort to form wash. -- Water back, a cistern to hold a supply of water; esp. a small cistern at the back of a stove, or a group of pipes set in the fire box of a stove or furnace, through which water circulates and is heated.

  2. In human beings, the hinder part of the body, extending from the neck to the end of the spine; in other animals, that part of the body which corresponds most nearly to such part of a human being; as, the back of a horse, fish, or lobster.
  3. Being at the back or in the rear; distant; remote; as, the back door; back settlements.
  4. To get upon the back of] to mount.

    I will back him [a horse] straight.
    Shak.

  5. To move or go backward; as, the horse refuses to back.
  6. In, to, or toward, the rear; as, to stand back; to step back.
  7. A ferryboat. See Bac, 1.
  8. An extended upper part, as of a mountain or ridge.

    [The mountains] their broad bare backs upheave
    Into the clouds.
    Milton.

  9. Being in arrear; overdue; as, back rent.
  10. To place or seat upon the back.

    [R.]

    Great Jupiter, upon his eagle backed,
    Appeared to me.
    Shak.

  11. To change from one quarter to another by a course opposite to that of the sun; -- used of the wind.
  12. To the place from which one came; to the place or person from which something is taken or derived; as, to go back for something left behind; to go back to one's native place; to put a book back after reading it.
  13. The outward or upper part of a thing, as opposed to the inner or lower part; as, the back of the hand, the back of the foot, the back of a hand rail.

    Methought Love pitying me, when he saw this,
    Gave me your hands, the backs and palms to kiss.
    Donne.

  14. Moving or operating backward; as, back action.

    Back charges, charges brought forward after an account has been made up. -- Back filling (Arch.), the mass of materials used in filling up the space between two walls, or between the inner and outer faces of a wall, or upon the haunches of an arch or vault. -- Back pressure. (Steam Engine) See under Pressure. -- Back rest, a guide attached to the slide rest of a lathe, and placed in contact with the work, to steady it in turning. -- Back slang, a kind of slang in which every word is written or pronounced backwards; as, nam for man. -- Back stairs, stairs in the back part of a house; private stairs. Also used adjectively. See Back stairs, Backstairs, and Backstair, in the Vocabulary. -- Back step (Mil.), the retrograde movement of a man or body of men, without changing front. -- Back stream, a current running against the main current of a stream; an eddy. -- To take the back track, to retrace one's steps; to retreat. [Colloq.]

  15. To drive or force backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.
  16. To stand still behind another dog which has pointed; -- said of a dog.

    [Eng.]

    To back and fill, to manage the sails of a ship so that the wind strikes them alternately in front and behind, in order to keep the ship in the middle of a river or channel while the current or tide carries the vessel against the wind. Hence: (Fig.) To take opposite positions alternately; to assert and deny. [Colloq.] -- To back out, To back down, to retreat or withdraw from a promise, engagement, or contest; to recede. [Colloq.]

    Cleon at first . . . was willing to go; but, finding that he [Nicias] was in earnest, he tried to back out.
    Jowett (Thucyd. )

  17. To a former state, condition, or station; as, to go back to private life; to go back to barbarism.
  18. The part opposed to the front; the hinder or rear part of a thing; as, the back of a book; the back of an army; the back of a chimney.
  19. To make a back for; to furnish with a back; as, to back books.
  20. (Of time) In times past; ago.

    "Sixty or seventy years back." Gladstone.
  21. The part opposite to, or most remote from, that which fronts the speaker or actor; or the part out of sight, or not generally seen; as, the back of an island, of a hill, or of a village.
  22. To adjoin behind; to be at the back of.

    A garden . . . with a vineyard backed.
    Shak.

    The chalk cliffs which back the beach.
    Huxley.

  23. Away from contact; by reverse movement.

    The angel of the Lord . . . came, and rolled back the stone from the door.
    Matt. xxviii. 2.

  24. The part of a cutting tool on the opposite side from its edge; as, the back of a knife, or of a saw.
  25. To write upon the back of; as, to back a letter; to indorse; as, to back a note or legal document.
  26. In concealment or reserve; in one's own possession; as, to keep back the truth; to keep back part of the money due to another.
  27. A support or resource in reserve.

    This project
    Should have a back or second, that might hold,
    If this should blast in proof.
    Shak.

  28. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid or influence; as, to back a friend.

    "The Parliament would be backed by the people." Macaulay.

    Have still found it necessary to back and fortify their laws with rewards and punishments.
    South.

    The mate backed the captain manfully.
    Blackw. Mag.

  29. In a state of restraint or hindrance.

    The Lord hath kept thee back from honor.
    Numb. xxiv. 11.

  30. The keel and keelson of a ship.
  31. To bet on the success of; -- as, to back a race horse.

    To back an anchor (Naut.), to lay down a small anchor ahead of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened to the crown of the large one. -- To back the field, in horse racing, to bet against a particular horse or horses, that some one of all the other horses, collectively designated "the field", will win. -- To back the oars, to row backward with the oars. -- To back a rope, to put on a preventer. -- To back the sails, to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern. -- To back up, to support; to sustain; as, to back up one's friends. -- To back a warrant (Law), is for a justice of the peace, in the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender. -- To back water (Naut.), to reverse the action of the oars, paddles, or propeller, so as to force the boat or ship backward.

  32. In return, repayment, or requital.

    What have I to give you back?
    Shak.

  33. The upper part of a lode, or the roof of a horizontal underground passage.
  34. In withdrawal from a statement, promise, or undertaking; as, he took back the offensive words.
  35. A garment for the back; hence, clothing.

    [Obs.]

    A bak to walken inne by daylight.
    Chaucer.

    Behind one's back, when one is absent; without one's knowledge; as, to ridicule a person behind his back. -- Full back, Half back, Quarter back (Football), players stationed behind those in the front line. -- To be or lie on one's back, to be helpless. -- To put, or get, one's back up, to assume an attitude of obstinate resistance (from the action of a cat when attacked). [Colloq.] -- To see the back of, to get rid of. -- To turn the back, to go away; to flee. -- To turn the back on one, to forsake or neglect him.

  36. In arrear; as, to be back in one's rent.

    [Colloq.]

    Back and forth, backwards and forwards; to and fro. -- To go back on, to turn back from; to abandon; to betray; as, to go back on a friend; to go back on one's professions. [Colloq.]

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Back

BACK, noun

1. The upper part of an animal, particularly of a quadruped, whose back is a ridge. In human beings, the hinder part of the body.

2. The outward or convex part of the hand, opposed to the inner, concave part, or palm.

3. As the back of man is the part on the side opposite to the face; hence the part opposed to the front; as the back of a book and of a chimney, or the back of a house.

4. The part opposite to or most remote from that which fronts the speaker or actor, or the part out of sight; as the back of an isle, of a wood, of a village.

5. As the back is the strongest part of an animal, and as the back is behind in motion; hence the thick and strong part of a cutting tool; as the back of a knife, or of a saw.

6. The place behind or nearest the back; as, on the back of a hill or of a village.

7. The outer part of the body, or the whole body; a part for the whole; as, he has not clothes to his back

8. To turn the back on one, is to forsake, or neglect him.

9. To turn the back to one, to acknowledge to be superior.

10. To turn the back is to depart, or to leave the care or cognizance of; to remove or be absent.

11. Behind the back is in secret, or when one is absent.

12. To cast behind the back in scripture, is to forget and forgive, Is.xxxviii, 17; or to treat with contempt. Ez.xxiii.35. Neh.ix.26.

13. To plow the back is to oppress and persecute. Psalms 129:3.

14. To bow the back is to submit to oppression. Rom.xi.10.

BACK, adverb To the place from which one came; as, to go back is to return.

2. In a figurative sense, to a former state, condition or station; as, he cannot go back from his engagements.

3. Behind; not advancing; not coming or bringing forward; as, to keep back a part; to keep one's selfback.

4. Towards times or things past; as, to look back on former ages.

5. Again; in return; as, give back the money.

6. To go or come back is to return, either to a former place, or state.

7. To go or give back is to retreat to recede.

BACK, verb transitive To mount; to get upon the back; sometimes perhaps to place upon the back; as, to back a horse.

2. To support; to maintain; to second or strengthen by aid; as, the Court was backed by the House of Commons.

3. To put backward; to cause to retreat or recede; as, to back oxen.

4. To back a warrant, is for a justice of the peace in the county where the warrant is to be executed, to sign or indorse a warrant, issued in another county, to apprehend an offender.

5. In seamanship, to back an anchor is to lay down a small anchor ahead of a large one, the cable of the small one being fastened to the crown of the large one, to prevent its coming home.

6. To back astern, in rowing, is to manage the oars in a direction contrary to the usual method, to move a boat stern foremost.

7. To back the sails, is to arrange them so as to cause the ship to move astern.

BACK, verb intransitive To move or go back; as, the horse refuses to back

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importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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