Definition of background in English:

background

noun

  • 1in singular The area or scenery behind the main object of contemplation, especially when perceived as a framework for it.

    ‘the house stands against a background of sheltering trees’
    surrounding, surroundings, backdrop, backcloth, framework
    setting, surround, framework
    in the distance, on the horizon
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    1. 1.1 The part of a picture or design that serves as a setting to the main figures or objects, or that appears furthest from the viewer.
      ‘the background shows a landscape of domes and minarets’
      ‘the word is written in white on a red background’
      • ‘The backgrounds to these painterly gestures are done in brisk, wet, back-and-forth brushstrokes.’
      • ‘Pieces consists of a dark red background with dark green plantlike forms on top.’
      • ‘Rolls Royce, Toyota, Lexus, Land Rover, G.M., and Ford have all used some of my pictures for backgrounds.’
      • ‘His foregrounds and figures are great, his backgrounds and brushwork not so great.’
      • ‘The flag's blue field serves as a background for the Great Seal of Guam, representing Guam's unity with the sea and the sky.’
      • ‘Also, the posters featured backgrounds showing European Art Deco.’
      • ‘White manipulates details and backgrounds to captivate the viewer's eyes as does the asymmetry of each painting.’
      • ‘The paintings have transparently tinted backgrounds of red, yellow and pale blue, respectively.’
      • ‘The top lot was Andy Warhol's 1963 painting Liz, with a bright red background.’
      • ‘Fragments of huge, white block letters painted on black backgrounds look like part of an abstract supergraphic design.’
      • ‘The painted sheets, too, serve to unify the group with solid backgrounds of yellow, red and, for a few night scenes, black.’
      • ‘Then check out the photo booth where you can take a picture of yourself with the Tokyo skyline superimposed in the background.’
      • ‘Watson's more recent canvases team animals with still life scenes and unusual backgrounds.’
      • ‘His main characters are usually portrayed against huge backgrounds, maze-like cityscapes or walls of nameless faces.’
      • ‘Finally, the girls had put together a scrap book, printing all of the pictures with blue backgrounds and black and white images.’
      • ‘Early Roman floor mosaics tended to have plain black figures and designs on white backgrounds.’
      • ‘By contrast, all the other buildings in the background of the photo stood inert, like skyscraping tombstones.’
      • ‘Set against tonally contrasting backgrounds, the figures bear as much resemblance to ecclesiastical portraits as they do to the Grim Reaper.’
      • ‘Except for the backgrounds, the three pictures are identical, so at least two have been altered.’
      • ‘Painted against neutral, empty backgrounds, the figures appear to be watching the viewer.’
    2. 1.2 A position or function that is not prominent or conspicuous.
      ‘after that evening, Athens remained in the background’
      • ‘In the meantime you're hearing the music in the background.’
      • ‘There were other voices in the background: inconsequential static.’
      • ‘One or two big projects that I've had rumbling on in the background, not really my core job but those nice added extras that we'd all like to be able to play with, have finally come to fruition.’
      • ‘There were always a couple of them, with a scribe lurking unobtrusively in the background and taking notes in an indecipherable shorthand.’
      • ‘‘It's not something that comes to the forefront, it's always in the background,’ he says.’
      • ‘Over here there's a poker game, then there's this drunk that keeps coming into the room, and in the background there's a couple checking into the hotel.’
      • ‘However, they fail to provide any supplementary advice for the situation where the cook twiddles with a roast while the owner of the kitchen hangs around crossly in the background.’
      • ‘‘My style is that I would much rather work the phones in the background than make a lot of statements,’ he said.’
      • ‘There is a whole system at work here, chugging along quietly in the background, unnoticed, and when you stop to think about it, its just awesome!’
      • ‘With the theme tune in the background of your mind, it is just too much to handle!’
      • ‘They work in the background and their contribution invariably goes unnoticed.’
      • ‘When he was finish, the three friends sat in contemplative silence, the movie still playing unnoticed in the background.’
      • ‘But Mitchell preferred to remain in the background, always giving credit to others.’
      • ‘The piano pieces during the film's second half sound a little thin even though they serve more as background than anything else.’
      • ‘I think I heard something like a squeaky playground merry-go-round in the background, or maybe it was a squeaky gate door.’
      • ‘When I arrived a few young women were tucking into some very well presented fare, as music played unobtrusively in the background.’
      • ‘Surely, there had to be a highly developed public relations conspiracy orchestrated in the background.’
      • ‘I listen to classical music played softly in the background.’
      • ‘Ideally, you should be quiet, in the background, unnoticed forever.’
      • ‘Now, I can see myself in that niche: I've always liked being the lieutenant who keeps things running smoothly in the background.’
      behind the scenes, out of the public eye, out of the spotlight, out of the limelight, backstage
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    3. 1.3Computing Used to describe tasks or processes running on a computer that do not need input from the user.
      ‘programs can be left running in the background’
      • ‘A daemon is a program that runs quietly in the background and processes information on the computer automatically.’
      • ‘Playback was smooth, even with tasks running in the background.’
      • ‘Each test was done immediately following a reboot with no other software running in the background.’
      • ‘You have to go into Windows Task Manager and terminate the background process for Outlook prior to starting a backup.’
      • ‘After that, the client software works in the background as a Windows service and watches your selected folders.’
    4. 1.4Physics Low-intensity radiation from radioisotopes present in the natural environment.
      • ‘Another line of evidence that the universe began is the cosmic radiation background.’
      • ‘Each photon in the cosmic background, though, retained some clues about the time and place of its last scattering.’
    5. 1.5 Unwanted signals, such as noise in the reception or recording of sound.
      • ‘Although the performances are well done, the variation in recording quality and background noise is audible.’
      • ‘Using technology to the fullest, the show uses a sound system for background noise.’
      • ‘Because you listen to the tape as a lay person, there's no way that at the end of the tape the background noise could be a conversation.’
      • ‘With the compression, you can hear the background noise in the recording and you hear when that noise stops at the end of the sample.’
      • ‘Other little nuances like ambient sounds and background noises are also used productively and generously.’
      • ‘The sound quality is poor here… in many instances the background noise overwhelms any dialogue.’
      • ‘But there was a background noise in the signal that just didn't go away, and they couldn't figure out how to get rid of it.’
      • ‘You don't need much here, but it is a documentary, so I was wary of background noise or dirty sound.’
      • ‘Otherwise, this is a mostly front-heavy track that utilizes some ambient sounds or background noises.’
      • ‘It's got to the point now where there are so many signs that they blur into a background hiss of white noise.’
  • 2The circumstances or situation prevailing at a particular time or underlying a particular event.

    ‘the political and economic background’
    as modifier ‘background information’
    • ‘The questions below include many from her work, as well as some more general cultural background questions.’
    • ‘But there is an important background to some of these changes; people who are more affluent tend to move from vegetarian to meat-eating diets.’
    • ‘Due to the number of calls regarding this, I'm including a little background information on the situation.’
    • ‘This sequence gives general background on the history of the Ring and helps to explain the story up until the point of the game's beginning.’
    • ‘The content is written for a wide range of learners who have some background knowledge of general biology.’
    • ‘The meeting will consist of a general introduction and background to the school from the headmaster and then a question and answer session.’
    • ‘These changes serve as the background for the spread of crack cocaine in Germany as well.’
    • ‘I argue that business school will give them the general background they need to succeed.’
    • ‘But the background information about Yao Ming's upbringing is fascinating.’
    • ‘Before proceeding with the latest political scandal, here is some general background.’
    • ‘The book starts with a short introduction that explains the author's interest in this variation and some general background.’
    • ‘Against such a background of general connivance and betrayal, the few - very few - acts of genuine resistance stand out.’
    • ‘He said the current round of negotiations had been understandably challenging, given the general economic background.’
    • ‘Do read for general background the web pages of recognized investment experts.’
    • ‘Next there is the work done as a follow-up to classes or as part of the general background reading for the subject.’
    • ‘I was told to consult with Emile on general background or historical questions.’
    • ‘Students prepared for the interviews by completing general background research.’
    • ‘For general background on intelligence, genes, and environment, I found the following useful.’
    • ‘These organizations emerged against the background of a deepening economic and political crisis and an increasing entrenchment of racism.’
    • ‘Of course the general background of our history is European culture.’
    circumstances, context, conditions, situation, environment, milieu, scene, scenario, framework, atmosphere
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    1. 2.1 A person's education, experience, and social circumstances.
      ‘she has a background in nursing’
      ‘a mix of students from many different backgrounds’
      • ‘One of the main aims of this project is not just to widen the cohort of volunteers, but also to make sure that young people of different social backgrounds can come together in a common experience.’
      • ‘All faculty members regardless of cultural background can serve as a role model.’
      • ‘We're providing very little incentive for students from social and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to come into education.’
      • ‘You can use your legal background and your position in the community to help inspire a moral rebirth in a society that condones bad things.’
      • ‘Two people from two different backgrounds will likely experience a significant number of challenges and communication barriers.’
      • ‘I am a personal chef/trainer in New York City with a background in sport nutrition and healthy cooking.’
      • ‘Common educational and social backgrounds have brought American and many foreign leaders closer.’
      • ‘Will they have extensive educational backgrounds and technical experience?’
      • ‘She will blame the couple's very different social backgrounds for the differences that eventually led to the collapse of their marriage.’
      • ‘They come from different backgrounds, both social and cultural, and are united only by their religious mission.’
      • ‘With her arts management background, she also serves as a mentor and adviser for the staff in their artistic careers.’
      • ‘Furthermore, they come from three very different backgrounds and social settings, which lends depth and perspective to their accounts.’
      • ‘Yet he struggled with contempt for his social background and deficient education.’
      • ‘Yet the bitter 26-year feud that has divided them has its roots more in each man's very different personal and social backgrounds.’
      • ‘This allows the work to bridge cultural difference, engaging - not distancing - viewers of varying backgrounds.’
      • ‘His motivation was that there should be no barriers to people with different education background and solid banking experience.’
      • ‘Her art background had given her an appreciation of Japanese woodblock prints.’
      • ‘It's a small but diverse business community but with a wealth of different backgrounds, strengths, experience and viewpoints.’
      • ‘Coming from a rural background, the city scenes ignited his imagination.’
      • ‘We all have different sensitivities, social backgrounds, families and different experiences of discipline and violence in real life.’
      social circumstances, family circumstances
      experience, record, history, past, training, education, grounding, knowledge
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Pronunciation

background

/ˈbækˌɡraʊnd//ˈbakˌɡround/