Definition of backstory in US English:



  • A history or background, especially one created for a fictional character in a motion picture or television program.

    ‘a brief prologue detailing our hero's backstory’
    • ‘Forget about the number of unanswered questions that the backstory of this character opens up.’
    • ‘As the backstories of the major characters are filled in, little tumblers fall into place.’
    • ‘This was first written as the backstory to a character I was playing in a roleplaying game, and it ended up taking on a life of its own.’
    • ‘The voice acting is good, the soundtrack is classic, and the extra scenarios flesh out the different characters' backstories.’
    • ‘We've run several sets of characters in it now, and the DM really encourages people to create detailed character histories and backstories, which sometimes extends to creating towns, noble houses, historical events, etc.’
    • ‘Little time is wasted on characters' backstories, or relationships; this is a movie for the fans, a tantalizing glimpse into a larger universe.’
    • ‘Just as each character has a backstory, each one also has something to contribute to life on the island.’
    • ‘Act One shows the backstory of our main characters.’
    • ‘Series writers also draw on backstories, unseen character qualities, and history, and embed these details into several storylines.’
    • ‘This is perhaps the best written of the three films, giving each character a solid backstory.’
    • ‘The pilot episode/movie does an excellent job of establishing the characters and backstory, and creates a quietly understated atmosphere of creepiness.’
    • ‘From the original to the remake, they seem to have completely changed where the story's going, because the backstory to the child is completely different.’
    • ‘Everyone liked this guy better than the guy in the film, so I gave him the backstory and jettisoned the other guy so I had a new villain.’
    • ‘The problem here is the same as it's always been: too many conflicting backstories for the character either muddles the plot along the way, or it mucks up the ending [guess which one we're at now].’
    • ‘Everything, including the backstories, the character personae, the history of the universe is written; it's just a matter of publishing it.’
    • ‘It's just hard to envision these characters living the plentiful backstory that's bantered around.’
    • ‘The cast has had to create indepth backstories for their characters.’
    • ‘There's a backstory, featuring characters shouting out, ‘Bring me the sound of the city!’’
    • ‘The show's unique format relied on the presence of repeating characters, all of whom had deep backstories that had been developed over years of programming.’
    • ‘I spent lots of yesterday working on some minor characters who, it turns out, because of their backstory, no longer appear in the book for any significant length of time.’