One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1predicative Late or slow in doing something.‘the Yoruba have not been behindhand in economic activity’
behind, behind schedule, behind time, delayedView synonyms
- ‘May the whole Buddhist world be not behindhand in following this noble example.’
- ‘Everything is behindhand for the opening ceremonies of Thursday, but as they are not the important ones, little annoyance is expressed.’
- ‘But instead of waving a baton he turns a beam of rosy light upon any region that is running ahead of the rest, and a beam of blue light upon those who are behindhand.’
- ‘There are certain days on which one feels oneself particularly wide of the mark; behindhand; in debt; showing a deficit.’
- ‘But, time and tide having waited impatiently in the wings, occasionally shaking their watches, I had really better get on and do some work before my next happy hour of the day finds me seriously behindhand.’
- ‘Because I'm behindhand on the particular thing in question I've thought of just letting it go.’
- ‘To our credit the British were not behindhand in promoting music.’
- 1.1archaic Unaware of recent events.‘you are miserably behindhand—Mr Cole gave me a hint of it six weeks ago’
Mid 16th century: from behind + hand, on the pattern of beforehand.
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