Definition of backdrop in US English:


nounPlural backdrops

  • 1A painted cloth hung at the back of a theater stage as part of the scenery.

    • ‘She took a job painting sets and making backdrops for a film production company, which she then parlayed into a career in art direction.’
    • ‘The venue for the night concerts was a huge field with naturally sloping sides, and the stages were set against backdrops of tall rainforest trees.’
    • ‘Olivier used painted backdrops of French fields and castles that were intended to suggest medieval artistic renderings.’
    • ‘The graphics are a little disappointing, and the backdrops and general scenery are quite poor.’
    • ‘The stage backdrop is filled with smoke and the curtains have become brown drapes, some halfway across the stage.’
    • ‘Typically, such painting might be placed on a theatre backdrop, or across a large hall or church nave, or on a high ceiling.’
    • ‘His father was an artist who designed backdrops for movies and stage plays.’
    • ‘Shakespeare's magical comedy will be played out against a simple backdrop of parkland scenery, he said.’
    • ‘Set on a bare stage with effective backdrops and use of lighting, there was a beautiful use of lines and lifts in group, pas de deux and solo work, all in contemporary classical form.’
    • ‘The patterns on the stage and against the backdrop were beautiful, the movement sensual and relational.’
    • ‘It may take hours of fiddling about with different backdrops of paper or cloth to get the colour right.’
    • ‘Rohmer used digital technology to recreate the Paris of the 1790s, fashioning computer-generated scenery and backdrops from paintings of the period.’
    • ‘‘To assist this he used subtle backdrops of paint, panel and lighting to allow objects to merge with one another’.’
    • ‘In high school theatre, the grid is normally the place where techies operate a fly system - in other words, lowering backdrops and scenery using ropes.’
    • ‘Alex is happy with the Art Alliance and has volunteered to paint some scenery backdrops for them.’
    • ‘It continues for over a minute and moves several yards across the stage and into the backdrop promoting the fight.’
    • ‘Also in 2000, I helped my art teacher paint backdrops for a school musical, Robin Hood, and joined the mural painting club.’
    • ‘The two elements have been perfectly blended, allowing for detailed and stylized characters on a colorful backdrop of gorgeous moving skies, richly painted backdrops, and subtle changes in light.’
    • ‘Someday I believe she will be painting the backdrops for them.’
    • ‘He spoke of the many people who helped behind the scenes, citing as an example those who had painted the backdrops.’
    stage set, set, flats, drop curtain
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The setting or background for a scene, event, or situation.
      ‘the conference took place against a backdrop of increasing diplomatic activity’
      • ‘As we come up over a rise, endless cultivated orchards stretch for many kilometres against a backdrop of blue mountain ridges.’
      • ‘At the same time, they have faced an uphill struggle to continue investing in networks against a backdrop of falling stock markets and huge debts.’
      • ‘Greenland is a country of stark contrasts, where ice and sunshine, greenery and snow are partners against a backdrop of fjords and mountains.’
      • ‘The building demonstrations come against a backdrop of continued violence in the country.’
      • ‘Behind you is a gorgeous, restored great house set against a backdrop of rainforests and mountains.’
      • ‘This is happening against a backdrop of fights by environmentalists to get old dams torn down.’
      • ‘The familiar stories are given new life when played out against a backdrop of ancient Roman ruins and sweeping rocky vistas.’
      • ‘Against a backdrop of steadily declining music sales, music companies have been forced to think of alternative solutions.’
      • ‘The case comes against a backdrop of mounting national concern about replica firearms.’
      • ‘I looked at the subject, the old chair, the cloth and the backdrop of the city through the windows behind, and frowned.’
      • ‘Already overshadowed by political complexity the elections will also take place against a backdrop of violence.’
      • ‘The summer tourists have gone, leaving plenty of space to enjoy the many activities on offer against the backdrop of outstanding scenery.’
      • ‘Old insights are merely recycled in different permutations against a backdrop of current circumstances.’
      • ‘This movie is a work of fiction, but it's played against a backdrop of historical events.’
      • ‘These discussions take place against a backdrop of deepening economic crisis and rising social tensions.’
      • ‘This year's event is taking place against a backdrop of Government attempts to promote chess in schools.’
      • ‘There were snow-capped peaks against a backdrop of liquid blue sky, for as far as I could see.’
      • ‘It is also home to some of the world's finest spa resorts, making a perfect location for relaxing against a backdrop of hazy mountains and the desert.’
      • ‘They survived, but Todd has been forced to work against a backdrop of continuing financial uncertainty.’
      • ‘Set against a backdrop of Alpine lakes and mountains, this city has the perfect mix of folk tradition and fast-moving modernity.’
      situation, setting, milieu, medium, background, scene, scenario, location, locale, context, framework
      View synonyms

verbbackdrops, backdropped, backdropping

  • Provide a background or setting for.

    ‘an ornate fountain, and at its center, backdropped with golden spray, a statue of a young girl’
    • ‘The country's bicentenary celebrations are backdropped by more political turmoil and a state of near-civil war.’
    • ‘Several members of the staff of over 200 pose with a celebratory cake, backdropped by a banner reading ‘Goodwill is on the move!’’
    • ‘Teal-blue water licked at uninhabited gleaming, creamy beaches backdropped by vertically faced limestone cliffs hundreds of feet straight up.’
    • ‘From the air, the tundra stretched to the south like a green-brown pillow, backdropped by the snowed escarpments of the Sadlerochits and the Brooks Range.’
    • ‘An epic journey of the individual in an unfathomable universe, the tale offers profound characterizations backdropped with astute philosophical motifs.’
    • ‘This is supposed to be a version of a classic tale about love, loss and final responsibility, whose action is not coincidently centred on a rooftop backdropped by an enormous corporate logo.’
    • ‘You witnessed amazing creatures backdropped by even more amazing vistas.’
    • ‘The hole is gorgeously backdropped by a natural waterfall flowing from the Cullasaja River.’
    • ‘In a covered promenade which backdrops the memorial and its fountains are displayed the crests of multi-national defence elements such as squadrons, brigades and divisions.’
    • ‘Not only is it busy movement-wise, the stage is a feast of visuals, with a blocky, retro cityscape pattern backdropping the slinky white and black costumes of the dancers.’
    • ‘The band offers up a catchy mix of mostly acoustic-centered pop, backdropped by obvious harmonies, reverb-drenched vocals and singalong lyrics.’
    • ‘This one-off single sees the band present a genuinely beautiful take on Punjabi folk, backdropped by a loping funk beat and breathtakingly lovely guitar.’
    • ‘The view south centres on 8,790-foot Mount Goldie, backdropped against the Rocky Mountains in the distance across the Columbia Valley.’