Definition of piggyback in English:



  • A ride on someone's back and shoulders.

    , → pickaback
    , → pickaback
    , and → pickaback
    • ‘Finally, he settled by giving her a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘Now, for that, give me a piggyback ride back up this hill.’
    • ‘I jumped on his back for my piggyback ride downstairs.’
    • ‘He lifted me up on his back and gave me a piggyback ride downstairs.’
    • ‘He laughed and then grabbed her legs and ran around giving her a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘Kristin was getting a piggyback ride from someone else and we were talking about how pretty it all was.’
    • ‘My daughter just asked me for a piggyback ride and I had to pass.’
    • ‘They poke and slap at one another, while Victoria jumps on Sabrina for a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘He was sitting on a picnic bench, leaning forward while Jane was grabbing on for a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘Pilar rode piggyback on Evelyn's back all of the way to the front gate of the fair.’
    • ‘Did she really allow you to give her a piggyback?’
    • ‘He gave me a piggyback ride into the main building, and didn't put me down even when we were inside.’
    • ‘I'll give Mike a piggyback into the party so he can arrive in style……’
    • ‘I suggested to my girlfriend that I give her a piggyback ride to the phone.’
    • ‘And then he saw Jackson giving the boy a piggyback ride back into the house.’
    • ‘So guess who was forced to give a piggyback ride?’
    • ‘He caught her and it almost looked like he was giving her a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘‘You can stay beside me, but no piggyback,’ Dallas said.’
    • ‘I slowed down and asked him for a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘Colin and I were walking up the road in town when he decided he would rather have a piggyback.’


  • 1On the back and shoulders of another person.

    ‘a piggyback ride’
    • ‘Here’s the priceless moment between David and his mom as he gives her a piggyback ride as a part of Korean wedding tradition.’
    • ‘I'd had the foresight to wear my waterproof hiking boots, so to save my wife's shoes from ruin I gave her a piggyback ride while she held the umbrella.’
    • ‘Now the younger monk was perturbed by his friend's conduct because their monastic code forbade them touching a woman, much less giving her a piggyback ride.’
    • ‘So he's giving her a piggyback ride down the stairs.’
    • ‘I suggested to my girlfriend that I give her a piggyback ride to the phone.’
    1. 1.1Attached to or riding on a larger object.
      ‘a telescope with fittings for piggyback cameras’
      • ‘Piggyback mounts allow a camera to be mounted parallel to the axis of a telescope, such that camera and telescope are pointed at the same target.’
      • ‘Then a physician at Oxford University offered to include him in a test of a new piggyback device - an "axial flow pump" that pushes blood in a continuous stream (no pulse) through the heart's left ventricle and out into the body.’
      • ‘The top carry handle also includes a 1/2-20 stud for piggyback camera mounting.’
      • ‘This is another piggyback device and your bike returns to previous state when removed from your bike.’
      • ‘Years ago there was a local piggyback tax, which meant the local governments would have tax rates of 50% or 60% of the state tax.’


  • On the back and shoulders of another person.

    ‘he had to carry him piggyback’
    • ‘They playfully rode piggyback on their team-mates' shoulders, duelling each other with loaded bottles of champagne.’
    • ‘She had been carrying Chase piggyback for some time, and now he was out cold.’
    • ‘Next thing you know, Karen was on top of my friend, banging her on the head with some sort of a plush toy… riding Glenn piggyback all over the place.’
    • ‘Ben grasped Maya's legs and stood, proceeding to carry her piggyback down the apartment's short corridor to the kitchen.’
    • ‘He flipped me round so now I was riding piggyback.’


  • 1 Carry by or as if by piggyback.

    • ‘Sighing heavily and muttering a few choice words about his lazy companion, he begrudgingly hauled her onto his back and piggybacked her all the way back to their apartment.’
    • ‘Lexi had fallen asleep, so her dad piggybacked her to the village.’
    • ‘We were taken as prisoners, they forced just to walk miles and miles, we can't escape, and me and Keiko piggybacked you the whole way.’
    • ‘She pulled him onto her back as if she was piggybacking him and she struggled to doggy - paddle to the shore.’
    • ‘Her three teammates piggybacked her to the next checkpoint. "It was pretty humiliating," she said.’
    • ‘‘Don't suppose you want to piggyback me there,’ Joaquin chided as they started to walk.’
    • ‘My eyes brimmed with tears, reminded of all the times he piggybacked me, of all the times he kissed away my tears and all our passionate kisses.’
    • ‘How fast could I get there carrying a plastic grocery sack of food in one hand, a dog on a leash with the other, and piggybacking a four-year-old boy?’
    • ‘I sighed in relief and released my death grip from Stephan's neck while he was piggybacking me.’
    • ‘We walked over there, although Karen was so tired I ended up piggybacking her part of the way.’
    • ‘With his warm chubby arms around my neck, I piggybacked him about the yard, feeling the eyes of my family watching us through the windows.’
    • ‘He piggybacked her all the way down the path, despite her loud complaints and squeals.’
    • ‘"He took her to the hospital,"' Dr. Brown said. "'Then after her foot was put in a cast, he piggybacked her to the bus."’
    • ‘I'm going to piggyback you back to camp before it gets dark.’
    • ‘She thought that he was going to stand and basically piggyback her to the South Exit, but she was wrong.’
    1. 1.1Mount on or attach to (an existing object or system)
      ‘providers of information have piggybacked their own networks onto the system’
      • ‘Another example is to piggyback additional missions on existing platforms, such as putting a science experiment on a relay satellite.’
      • ‘Instead, Austrian shares are increasingly being seen as a way for investors to piggyback the economic upswing across the EU's accession states.’
      • ‘If you're already using an online backup or storage service, you can piggyback your file transfers on top of it.’
      • ‘A SOF distribution system is required to piggyback existing distribution nodes only as needed and maintain asset visibility to ensure prioritization, timeliness, and accountability.’
      • ‘There are additional benefits to piggybacking some personal vacation time onto your business travel.’
      • ‘Local garden centers may stock smaller quantities or piggyback your order with that of another customer.’
      • ‘They won't be able to piggyback a lot of new services on carriage rights.’
      • ‘I have to upload some code so I'll piggyback the signal on another station and have a sneak around.’
      • ‘At the same time the company's sites piggybacked their networks onto the Internet’
      • ‘The charity initially piggybacked food distribution by Oxfam to supply vaccines after the 1994 drought.’
      • ‘Instead, he said he intends to piggyback his intelligent computing network on mobile phone networks.’
      • ‘They are just seeking to piggyback themselves onto a benefit to which they are not entitled.’
      • ‘The answer it that the Japanese are going to piggyback it on the launch of another satellite.’
      • ‘Since they decided to bring this to the forefront we should take credit for it and piggyback our new progressive ideas on its back.’
      • ‘The next time we are having a referendum, we should just piggyback this change on it.’
    2. 1.2[no object]Use existing work or an existing product as a basis or support.
      ‘we were piggybacking on their training program’
      • ‘The plan depends on a sort of ‘shadow’ network, one that piggybacks on the Internet.’
      • ‘Well, for one, I'm piggybacking on his skill as a writer to get more sales of a book than I would have on my own.’
      • ‘We're piggybacking on the increasing requirements for data and the new data standards that are emerging.’
      • ‘The natural conclusion of this argument is simple - we either consolidate ourselves or elect to piggyback on a sub-contract basis to the big guys in the game.’
      • ‘It should look at linking with these players and piggybacking on their market dominance.’
      • ‘And now we are piggybacking on their system, or at least looking at the viability of that.’
      • ‘When user logs into his bank's website, the attacker piggybacks on that session via the Trojan to make any fraudulent transaction he wants.’
      • ‘For one thing, piggybacking on existing dealers and steering clear of pricey TV spots will keep costs low.’
      • ‘A large proportion of the self-employed acquire coverage in health and dental plans by piggybacking on the employer-sponsored plan of a spouse or close relative.’
      • ‘As much as possible, designers seek to piggyback on existing patterns and concepts instead of starting from scratch.’
      • ‘Poker is one of the fastest growing areas of online gambling across the globe, piggybacking on the expanding popularity of the game that has followed a glut of new TV shows around the world.’
      • ‘Desperate copywriters use the ‘in the tradition of’ device, piggybacking on another writer's fame.’
      • ‘That was why they piggybacked on this event that gets international media coverage in order to get attention.’
      • ‘Spyware usually enter your PC by piggybacking on other software downloads.’
      • ‘They can only piggyback off an existing connection.’
      • ‘But if there's anything worse than a fad product it's the copycats that try to piggyback on that popularity.’
      • ‘However, the company has signalled its intention to enter the mobile market either by buying an existing player or by piggybacking on an another operator's network.’
      • ‘Our statutory and constitutional law is very ill-equipped to deal with the challenge of government piggybacking on private data collection.’
      • ‘The tiny carbon cycle is piggybacking on the huge water cycle (clouds included), not driving it.’
      • ‘It's like she's piggybacking on my empathic ability.’


Mid 16th century (as an adverb): although analyzed by folk etymology in various ways from an early date, the word's origin remains obscure.