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Pronunciation:  'bak`grawnd

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  scenery hung at back of stage
  2. [n]  (computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear
  3. [n]  a person's social heritage: previous experience or training; "he is a lawyer with a sports background"
  4. [n]  information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem; "the embassy filled him in on the background of the incident"
  5. [n]  the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground; "he posed her against a background of rolling hills"
  6. [n]  relatively unimportant or inconspicuous accompanying situation; "when the rain came he could hear the sound of thunder in the background"
  7. [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"
  8. [n]  the state of the environment in which a situation exists; "you can't do that in a university setting"
  9. [v]  understate the importance or quality of; "he played down his royal ancestry"

BACKGROUND is a 10 letter word that starts with B.


 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



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\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.

Computing Dictionary

1. A task running in the background (a background task) is detached from the terminal where it was started (and often running at a lower priority); opposite of foreground. This means that the task's input and output must be from/to files (or other processes).

Nowadays this term is primarily associated with unix, but it appears to have been first used in this sense on os/360.

Compare amp off, batch, slopsucker.

2. For a human to do a task "in the background" is to do it whenever foreground matters are not claiming your undivided attention, and "to background" something means to relegate it to a lower priority. "For now, we'll just print a list of nodes and links; I'm working on the graph-printing problem in the background." Note that this implies ongoing activity but at a reduced level or in spare time, in contrast to mainstream "back burner" (which connotes benign neglect until some future resumption of activity). Some people prefer to use the term for processing that they have queued up for their unconscious minds (often a fruitful tack to take upon encountering an obstacle in creative work).

Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: action, agora, amphitheater, anagnorisis, angle, architectonics, architecture, arena, argument, athletic field, atmosphere, auditorium, back, backdrop, background detail, backstage, bear garden, behind the scenes, blaseness, bowl, boxing ring, breeding, bull ring, campus, canvas, catastrophe, characterization, circus, cockpit, coliseum, color, colosseum, complication, continuity, contrivance, course, credentials, curriculum vitae, decorative composition, decorative style, denouement, design, detail, development, device, distance, episode, experience, fable, falling action, family, field, figure, floor, foil, foreground detail, form, forum, gimmick, ground, gym, gymnasium, hall, hinterland, hippodrome, history, horizon, in the background, incident, inconspicuous, line, lists, local color, locale, marketplace, mat, milieu, mise-en-scene, mood, motif, movement, mythos, national style, obscurity, offing, open forum, ornamental motif, palaestra, parade ground, past experience, pattern, period style, peripeteia, pit, place, plan, platform, plot, practical knowledge, practice, precinct, prize ring, public square, purlieu, range, rear, recognition, remote distance, repeated figure, ring, rising action, sagacity, scene, scene of action, scenery, scheme, seasoning, secondary plot, setting, site, slant, sophistication, sphere, squared circle, stadium, stage, stage set, stage setting, story, structure, style, subject, subplot, switch, tempering, terrain, the distance, theater, thematic development, theme, tilting ground, tiltyard, tone, topic, touch, training, twist, unnoticed, unobtrusive, unseen, upbringing, vanishing point, walk, worldly wisdom, wrestling ring