Definitions for: Background

[n] scenery hung at back of stage
[n] (computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear
[n] a person's social heritage: previous experience or training; "he is a lawyer with a sports background"
[n] information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem; "the embassy filled him in on the background of the incident"
[n] the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground; "he posed her against a background of rolling hills"
[n] relatively unimportant or inconspicuous accompanying situation; "when the rain came he could hear the sound of thunder in the background"
[n] extraneous signals that can be confused with the phenomenon to be observed or measured; "they got a bad connection and could hardly hear one another over the background signals"
[n] the state of the environment in which a situation exists; "you can't do that in a university setting"
[v] understate the importance or quality of; "he played down his royal ancestry"

Webster (1913) Definition: Back"ground`, n. [Back, a. + ground.]
1. Ground in the rear or behind, or in the distance, as
opposed to the foreground, or the ground in front.

2. (Paint.) The space which is behind and subordinate to a
portrait or group of figures.

Note: The distance in a picture is usually divided into
foreground, middle distance, and background.

3. Anything behind, serving as a foil; as, the statue had a
background of red hangings.

4. A place in obscurity or retirement, or out of sight.

I fancy there was a background of grinding and
waiting before Miss Torry could produce this highly
finished . . . performance. --Mrs.

A husband somewhere in the background. --Thackeray.

Synonyms: backcloth, backdrop, background knowledge, background signal, desktop, downplay, ground, play down, scope, screen background, setting

Antonyms: foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight

See Also: accent, accentuate, accompaniment, aspect, background noise, background radiation, canvas, canvass, concomitant, co-occurrence, CRT screen, disturbance, emphasise, emphasize, environment, ground noise, heritage, information, inheritance, interference, noise, panorama, prospect, punctuate, scene, scene, scenery, screen, show window, showcase, soft-pedal, stress, view, vista, wave off

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