One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Late or slow in doing something, especially paying a debt.‘the Yoruba have not been behindhand in economic activity’
behind, behind schedule, behind time, delayedView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘To our credit the British were not behindhand in promoting music.’
- ‘May the whole Buddhist world be not behindhand in following this noble example.’
- ‘Because I'm behindhand on the particular thing in question I've thought of just letting it go.’
- ‘Everything is behindhand for the opening ceremonies of Thursday, but as they are not the important ones, little annoyance is expressed.’
- 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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