[+person, animal] dos m
→ He was lying on his back.
→ He threw the saddle across the donkey's back.
to do sth behind sb's back faire qch derrière le dos de qn
→ You eat her food, enjoy her hospitality and then criticize her behind her back.
→ They were talking about her behind her back.
to turn one's back on sb/sth
(=abandon) tourner le dos à qn/qch
→ I asked him for help, but he turned his back on me.
→ She wouldn't turn her back on someone who has coached her for 12 years.
→ She has turned her back on her career to become a missionary.
to have one's back to the wall, to have one's back against the wall (fig) être au pied du mur, être le dos au mur
→ The banks had their backs to the wall. They could not risk being seen as Scrooges inflicting Yuletide misery on thousands of workers
→ in the first half we had our backs to the wall, but still managed to keep the score 0-0
to break the back of a job (British) faire le gros d'un travail
to get sb's back up *
(=annoy) hérisser qn
to get off sb's back * ficher * la paix à qn
to be glad to see the back of sb (British)
* être content (e) de voir partir qn
[+hand] dos m , revers m
the back of the neck la nuque
→ She raised her hands to the back of her neck.
the back of the leg le mollet
→ She had varicose veins on the backs of her legs.
[+top, dress, skirt] dos m
[+trousers] fond m
back to front
[+page, cheque] verso m
on the back au verso
[+door] dos m
→ Pin the list on the back of the door.
[+house] derrière m
[+room, theatre, hall] fond m
at the back
[+room, theatre, hall] au fond
→ There's space for 3 people at the back.
[+car, train] arrière m
→ Your seats are in coach G, towards the back of the train.
in the back à l'arrière
→ The children sat in the back.
(=end) fin f
→ The index is at the back of the book.
(=back cover) dos m
[+chair] dossier m
The chair has no back. La chaise n'a pas de dossier.
to put one's coat on the back of a chair mettre son manteau sur le dossier d'une chaise, mettre son manteau sur le dos d'une chaise
(=defender) arrière m
(=support financially, fund) soutenir financièrement
→ The group is backed by big multinationals.
(=give one's backing to)
→ The union will back Mr Green.
→ The Security Council has agreed to back the plan.
[+horse] parier sur, miser sur
to back the winner (lit) miser sur le gagnant
→ Did you back the winner?
to back the winner (fig) miser sur le gagnant
→ After a dismal couple of years, he believes that his party has at last backed a winner.
→ The president took a gamble and backed the winner when he threw his support to Boris Yeltsin.
→ She backed the car a few feet.
to back one's car into a parking space garer sa voiture en marche arrière
→ He backed the van into a parking space.
vi back up
[car, vehicle] faire marche arrière
[legs, feet] de derrière
[window, wall, row, entrance] de derrière
→ She left by the back entrance without commenting.
→ Can you take the delivery through the back entrance?
[+car] roues fpl arrière
the back wheel of my bike la roue arrière de mon vélo
back garden jardin sur l'arrière
back payment arriéré m de paiements
back rent arriéré m de loyer
Can you move back a little bit? Pouvez-vous reculer un peu?
to tiptoe back reculer sur la pointe des pieds
to creep back reculer en rampant
turn back etc
to be back, He's back. Il est rentré., Il est de retour.
He's not back yet. Il n'est pas encore rentré.
When will you be back? Quand seras-tu de retour?
She will be back at work next week. Elle retournera travailler la semaine prochaine.
to run back revenir en courant
He ran back. Il est revenu en courant.
to walk back, We went there by bus and walked back. Nous y sommes allés en bus et nous sommes rentrés à pied.
to throw the ball back renvoyer la balle
can I have it back? je peux le ravoir?, tu peux me le rendre?
she passed the plate back to Carol elle a redonné l'assiette à Carol
give back etc
(=ago) back in 1980 en 1980 The story starts back in 1950. L'histoire remonte à 1950. a few years back il y a quelques années → There was a terrorist attack a few years back. back in the day dans le temps
vi répondre, répliquer
→ She was punished by teachers for answering back.
(=give way) revenir sur sa position
→ It's too late to back down now.
→ The government has no intention of backing down in the dispute.
to back down on sth [+plan, issue,demand] se rétracter sur qch
→ He had to back down on plans to backdate the tax changes.
→ The Italians may be willing to back down on the second condition.
→ Having been forced to back down on this issue, the Prime Minister now has a serious political damage control exercise on his hands.
→ He was shocked with the petition and said organisers would not back down on their decision.
The president tried to back down on what he had said. Le président a essayé de se rétracter sur ce qu'il avait dit.
back on to , back onto
The house backs on to the golf course. Le derrière de la maison donne sur le terrain de golf.
[driver, car] (of driveway, parking space)
sortir en marche arrière
→ He backed out onto the road.
(of promise, commitment, deal)
→ Everything was set up. Then, mysteriously, he backed out.
They promised to help us, and then backed out. Ils avaient promis de nous aider et ils se sont désistés.
to back out of sth [+promise, commitment, deal] se retirer de qch
→ The Hungarians backed out of the project in 1989.
→ They have backed out of the deal.
[+file, disk] faire une copie de sauvegarde de
→ I'd forgotten to back up my disks.
→ His employers backed him up.
→ My parents have always backed me up.
[+views, statement, theory, sb's words] confirmer
→ Her views are backed up by an official report on crime.
→ There is no evidence to back up your statement.
→ Radio signals received from the galaxy's centre back up the black hole theory.
If I say I was at your house, will you back me up? Si je dis que j'étais chez toi, tu peux le confirmer?
→ The girl denied being there, and the man backed her up.
→ Can you back your car up a bit? I haven't got enough space to get out.
→ He backed up a few feet and stopped.
n ruelle f
back-breaking , backbreaking
[work, labour] éreintant (e)
→ Many months of back-breaking work still face them.
back burner , backburner
on the back burner en veilleuse
→ For 10 years she has looked after her three children with her career very much on the back burner.
to put sth on the back burner mettre qch en veilleuse
→ Many speculated that the US would put the peace process on the back burner.
[+musician] anciens enregistrements mpl
→ this compilation of the band's back catalogue
→ He planned to reissue much of his back catalogue, adding bonus tracks
[+magazine, newspaper] vieux numéro m
back country , backcountry (US)
the back country la campagne f profonde
→ They have moved deep into the back country.
[+house] porte f de derrière
to do sth through the back door, to do sth by the back door faire qch de façon détournée
→ Dentists claim the Government is privatising dentistry through the back door.
n flip m arrière
→ He celebrated his goal with an elaborate back flip.
[+magazine, newspaper] vieux numéro m
[+books] ouvrages mpl disponibles
[+magazine, newspaper] vieux numéro m
n mal m de dos
to have back pain avoir mal au dos
(in lower back)
avoir mal aux reins
back passage (British)
(=rectum) rectum m
n rappel m de salaire
back-pedal , backpedal
(=backtrack) faire marche arrière
→ Allen back-pedalled, saying that he had had no intention of offending them ...
to back-pedal on sth faire marche arrière sur qch, reculer sur qch
→ He appeared to back-pedal on that statement.
→ The cabinet may backpedal on these commitments.
n marche f arrière
→ The liberals were angered by Britain's back-pedalling
→ a dispute between potential witnesses and a feeling that the evidence might be rather thin caused some back-pedalling yesterday
back-pedalling on sth marche arrière sur qch
→ ... Britain's back-pedalling on reforms.
(=small country road) petite route f de campagne
(=massage) massage m de dos
→ Will you give me a back rub?
to take a back seat
rester en retrait, s'effacer
être relégué (e) au second plan
→ The scandal yesterday saw her take a back seat in operations at her PR firm
→ The Pope has had to take a back seat for most of the Holy Week celebrations
[issue] être relégué (e) au second plan
→ Under Mr McLeish the arts took a back seat as the former first minister sought to attract major sporting events to Scotland.
back-seat driver , backseat driver
he's a back-seat driver il est toujours à donner des conseils au conducteur
(=unwanted advisor, manipulator)
to be a back-seat driver tirer les ficelles
→ They accused the former prime minister of being a backseat driver.
→ The Conservative leadership cannot ignore the problem of its back-seat driver any longer
→ Less than a week into his role, Alistair Darling already realises that Lord Birt is the back-seat driver.
back-slapping , backslapping
(=cordial behaviour) cordialité f
→ Men love him for his hearty back-slapping and hand-shaking.
(=congratulating) félicitations fpl
→ the system of backslapping and favors that's characteristic of politics
→ The triumphant Bindaree calmly accepted the backslapping and camera-clicking.
I think a bit of backslapping at this time of year is in order - it has been a good campaign. Je pense qu'on peut se permettre de se passer de la pommade à cette époque de l'année - ça a été une bonne campagne.
[cronies, admirers] exubérant (e) à l'excès
→ Scott breaks away from his back-slapping admirers
back street , back-street, backstreet
(=small narrow street) ruelle f
→ The small church of San Michel is tucked away in a narrow back street of Port-au-Prince.
(=poor area) quartiers mpl pauvres
→ ... the back streets of Berlin.
[people, houses] dos à dos inv
[wins, victories, defeats] consécutif (-ive)
→ they had back-to-back wins at home to Germany and Brazil
back to front
adv à l'envers
→ He wears his baseball cap back to front.
→ You've got your T-shirt on back to front.
to do sth back to front faire qch à l'envers
→ He has done it all back to front, he should have organized the meeting first.
n ( back teeth pl ) molaire f
[team, competitor] faire un retour en force
→ Detroit (7-4-3) bounced back from its first home defeat of the season
→ She brought my book back.
→ Your article brought back sad memories for me.
to bring it all back, It brought it all back. Tout m'est revenu.
→ Talking about it brought it all back.
[+practice, custom] rétablir
→ Some people want to bring back the death penalty.
→ I regretted selling it to him and bought it back for twice the price.
[+shares] rachat m
→ ... a share buy-back scheme ...
→ The company announced an extensive stock buy-back program.
→ I'll call back tonight, on the way back from the pub.
(=phone again) rappeler
→ I told him I would call back when I had some news.
I'll call back at 6 o'clock. Je rappellerai à six heures.
(=phone back) rappeler
→ Would you ask him to call me back as soon as possible.
[+loss, money] récupérer
→ Telewest Communications clawed back some of this week's losses
Come back! Reviens!
to come back to sb on sth répondre plus tard à qn à propos de qch
→ Jen has told me she will come back to me on the date of the next meeting.
Can I come back to you on that one? Est-ce que je peux te répondre plus tard?
→ Cut the stems back to within 50 cm of the soil.
[+production, expenditure] réduire
→ Congress cut back the funds.
cut back on
[+spending, investment] économiser sur
→ The government want to cut back on investment in public services
[+food, fat] réduire
→ We are working to cut back on fat in our diet.
[+treats] se permettre moins de
This tradition dates back over 200 years. Cette tradition date d'il y a plus de 200 ans.
date back to
[+year] dater de
→ The treasure dates back to the sixth century BC.
[person] revenir sur ses pas
→ Double back, and Brunswick Road's on the left.
(=move back) reculer (fig)
(=retreat) se retirer
→ The Government should draw back, even at this stage
to draw back from sth [+action] se retirer de qch
→ He will urge ministers to draw back from the plan
[army, soldiers] se replier
→ The Prussian garrison at Charleroi was falling back.
fall back into
[+routine, old habits] retomber dans
→ He'd promise to be better. But he'd soon fall back into his old ways
→ he believed the economy was unlikely to fall back into recession
fall back on
vt fus se rabattre sur
→ the Prime Minister will be able to fall back on his veto to ensure that the measure is not passed
→ He fell back on his favourite trick: quoting himself
→ Unable to defeat him by logical discussion, she fell back on her old habit of criticizing his speech
to have something to fall back on (money)
avoir quelque chose en réserve
avoir une solution de rechange
→ If everything goes wrong, at least I have a job to fall back on
[+results] donner en retour
(=resist) se défendre
→ The teenage attackers fled when the two men fought back
→ Our forces were fighting back desperately ...
→ She fought back the tears
[+emotion, urge] réprimer
→ Fold the sheet and blankets back at the top ...
[+crowd, enemy] repousser
→ I forced his head back.
→ Nancy forced back tears. She wasn't going to cry in front of all those people.
full-back , fullback
n arrière m
What time did you get back? Tu es rentré à quelle heure?
He got his money back. Il a récupéré son argent.
get back at
* to get back at sb rendre à qn la monnaie de sa pièce
get back to
(=start again) retourner or revenir à
(=contact again) recontacter
vt sep rendre
to give sth back to sb rendre qch à qn
I gave the book back to him. Je lui ai rendu le livre.
vi jeter un coup d'œil en arrière
to glance back at sb/sth se retourner pour jeter un coup d'œil à qn/qch
→ he glanced back at him as he left
(=go home) rentrer
It's time we went back. Il est temps de rentrer.
"Is he still here?" -- "No, he's gone back home." "Est-ce qu'il est encore là?" -- "Non, il est rentré chez lui."
We went back to the same place. Nous sommes retournés au même endroit.
→ I'd have to do all that before I could go back to bed.
They told me I could go back to his bedside. Ils m'ont dit que je pouvais revenir à son chevet.
to go back to the beginning revenir au début
(=date back) remonter
to go back to [+year, century] remonter à
→ The feud goes back to the 11th century
go back on
[+promise] revenir sur
go back to
[+task, activity] reprendre
→ I did not know whether to go back to gymnastics
to go back to work reprendre le travail
→ Jane had to go back to work, which was not easy
n demi m
[+object, property] rendre
→ The thieves refused to hand back the stolen pictures.
→ She denied any wrongdoing but agreed to hand back the money.
[+power, control] restituer
[+country, land, territory] rendre
→ the government's reluctance to hand back land nationalised under the Sandinistas
to hand sth back to sb [+object, property] rendre qch à qn
→ She handed the picture back to Alberg.
→ I handed the passport back to Harry.
→ We handed the car back to the dealer.
[+power, control] restituer qch à qn
→ Thompson expects to hand back control of the club to Gerard Houllier next month.
[+country, land, territory] rendre qch à qn
→ Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997.
→ The rest of the children hung back, watching her.
→ I saw him step forward but then hang back, nervously rubbing his hands.
to hang back from doing sth être réticent (e) à faire qch
(=set off back) retourner
→ he headed back to Europe to finalise the attack plan.
rendre les coups, riposter
Some violent men beat up their sons, until the boys are strong enough to hit back. Certains hommes violents battent leurs fils, jusqu'au moment où ces derniers sont assez forts pour rendre les coups.
→ Mr Previti hit back, accusing him of betraying the trust of the right.
to hit back at sb répliquer à qn, rétorquer à qn
He hit back at his critics in the City, saying: "The results are a case for rejoicing, they are very, very strong." À ses détracteurs de la Bourse londonienne, il répliqua : "Nous ne pouvons que nous réjouir de ces résultats, ce sont de solides, très solides résultats.", À ses détracteurs de la Bourse londonienne, il rétorqua : "Nous ne pouvons que nous réjouir de ces résultats, ce sont de solides, très solides résultats."
If somebody hit me, I'd hit him back. Si quelqu'un me frappait, je riposterais.
[+person, crowd] retenir
to hold back one's tears retenir ses larmes
to hold back one's laughter s'efforcer de ne pas éclater de rire
[situation, conditions] être un obstacle pour
→ Stagnation in home sales is holding back economic recovery
She wanted to be an actress but her dyslexia held her back. Elle voulait être actrice, mais sa dyslexie a été un obstacle pour elle.
She's very ambitious, so don't try to hold her back. Elle est très ambitieuse, n'essaie pas de la brider.
to hold sb back from doing sth retenir qn de faire qch
→ the lack of trust that holds us back from opening up fully to others
Sydney's pride held him back from relying on her too much. C'est son orgueil qui retenait Sydney de trop dépendre d'elle.
What's holding him back from making a final decision? Qu'est-ce qui le retient de prendre une décision sans appel ?
(=keep to o.s.)
[+secret] garder pour soi
[+information] garder pour soi
What helpful information do you believe I have held back? Quelle information utile crois-tu que j'ai gardée pour moi?
Are you holding something back? Tu me caches quelque chose ?
→ You seem to be holding something back
(=hesitate before acting) temporiser
The administration had several reasons for holding back. L'administration avait ses raisons de temporiser.
to hold back from doing sth attendre avant de faire qch
→ I don't see why he would have held back from telling us.
Ministers held back from making the bad news public. Les ministres ont attendu avant de rendre publique la mauvaise nouvelle., Les ministres ont retardé la diffusion de la mauvaise nouvelle.
[+crowds, tears] retenir
[+money] conserver, garder
Keep back enough juice to make the sauce. Conservez assez de jus pour pouvoir faire la sauce.
I can't help feeling he's keeping something back. Je ne peux m'empêcher de penser qu'il cache quelque chose.
vi rester à distance
Keep back or I'll shoot. Restez à distance ou je tire.
[+drink] descendre *
He was knocking back the vodka as if it was lemonade. Il descendait la vodka comme si c'était de la limonade.
[person, attitude] relax, décontracté (e)
→ Nothing worried him, he was really laid back.
→ Everyone here has a really laid-back attitude.
lead back to
[path] ramener à
→ The path leads back to the house.
[person] se pencher en arrière
vt sep vendre en cession-bail
vi s'allonger or s'étendre sur le dos
Now lie back and relax. Maintenant, allongez-vous et détendez-vous.
to lie back on the pillows s'allonger sur les oreillers, s'étendre sur les oreillers
(=glance backwards) regarder derrière soi
→ When I looked back, he had gone.
to look back at sth/sb se retourner pour regarder qch/qn
→ She turned to look back at her parents waving on the platform.
(on the past)
revenir sur le passé
looking back, ... rétrospectivement, ...
Looking back, I think I did the best I could. Rétrospectivement, je pense que j'ai fait de mon mieux.
to look back on sth [+event, period] repenser à qch
→ The past always seems better when you look back on it.
to look back on sth with regret repenser à qch avec regret
→ They will look back on this match with a great deal of pride.
→ Ruby looks back on her childhood with immense nostalgia.
I never looked back (was successful from then on)
à partir de ce moment-là, tout m'a réussi
→ Celtic led from the 19th minute and never looked back.
the lower back le bas du dos
(to town, area, country)
(=come back) revenir
(=go back) retourner
He recently moved back to Britain. Il est récemment revenu or retourné vivre en Grande-Bretagne.
→ he gave up riding and moved back to Scotland
(in board game)
Move back three squares. Reculez de trois cases.
The police moved the crowd back. faire reculer
(=move further back) reculer
Please move your car back a bit. Reculez un peu votre voiture, s'il vous plaît.
→ Move the barricade back a bit.
(=return to former position) remettre à sa place
That's ok. You can move the table back now. C'est bon, vous pouvez remettre la table à sa place maintenant.
→ Glass can be collected and passed back to glass manufacturers for recycling
[+benefits, savings] répercuter
→ the benefits must be passed back to the consumer
→ If three quarters of this were passed back to customers in the form of price cuts ...
→ The word was passed back to Downing Street
→ If I take out a loan, it could take me years to pay it back.
I'll pay you back tomorrow. Je te rembourserai demain.
vt sep décoller
→ He peeled back the stamp and found what he was looking for.
[+opponent] revenir sur
→ though he pressed his rival, he could not peg him back
vt sep rappeler
→ Perhaps he could phone me back when he gets in?
→ I'll phone you back later.
I'll ask him to phone you back as soon as he gets in. Je lui demanderai de vous rappeler dès qu'il arrivera.
→ Could you phone back later, please?
[+hair] ramener en arrière
→ cleanse your face thoroughly and pin back your hair
[+message, tape, film] repasser
→ He bought an answering machine that plays back his messages when he calls.
→ I played the tape back.
→ It's a good system. It allows you to play the film back immediately.
vt sep réinvestir
to plough sth back into sth [+profits] réinvestir qch dans qch
→ Money from the increased taxes will be ploughed back into the health
[+plant] tailler, rabattre
→ Lightly prune back the overgrown shoots of evergreens.
→ After summer flowering, plants can be pruned back.
[troops] se retirer
to pull back from [+position] se retirer de
→ They were asked to pull back from their artillery positions around the city.
(=change one's mind) faire marche arrière
→ The government threatened to make public its disquiet but then pulled back.
→ I was going to tell him what I thought, but at the last moment I pulled back.
→ The woman pushed back her chair and stood up.
[+one's hair] ramener en arrière
→ She pushed back her hair.
to push back the boundaries repousser les limites
They have pushed back the boundaries of medical research. Ils ont repoussé les limites de la recherche médicale.
→ Could you put the milk back in the fridge?
→ They put the settee back against the wall.
I put the book back on the shelf. J'ai remis le livre sur l'étagère.
Put it back when you've finished with it. Remets-le en place une fois que tu auras fini.
[+meeting, start] remettre
→ We've had to put back the seminar again.
→ The trip has been put back to Easter.
The meeting has been put back to next month. La réunion a été remise au mois prochain.
This will put production back at least a month. Cela retardera la production d'au moins un moins.
This will put us back ten years. Cela nous ramènera dix ans en arrière.
[+watch, clock] retarder
→ When summer time ends, clocks must be put back an hour.
→ Travelling west meant that we had to put our watches back.
(=return quickly) revenir à toute allure
→ I race back to my room, where the phone is ringing
ring back (mainly British)
vt sep rappeler
→ I'll get him to ring you back when he comes in.
I'll ring back later. Je rappellerai plus tard.
[+hair] peigner en arrière
→ Slap on lots of moisturiser, scrape your hair back and add a parting
[+goods, letter, package] renvoyer
→ The dress I ordered was too small so I sent it back.
[+signal, image] renvoyer
the pictures that the satellite was sending back les images que le satellite renvoyait
[+meal] (in restaurant)
renvoyer en cuisine
→ A customer sent the fish back saying it was underdone.
to set sth back by retarder qch de
→ Bad weather set us back by about three weeks.
→ Her resignation could set the project back by several months.
a house set back from the road une maison située en retrait de la route
How much did that set you back? Combien cela vous a coûté?
to set sb back £50 en coûter 50 livres à qn
→ A house like that will set you back half a million pounds.
short back and sides , short-back-and-sides (British)
n coupe f dégagée derrière et sur les côtés
(=relax) se détendre
They didn't have to do anything except sit back and enjoy life. Ils n'avaient rien d'autre à faire que se détendre et profiter de la vie.
→ It might cause her to start back in terror.
(=begin to return) rebrousser chemin
We'd better start back. On ferait mieux de rebrousser chemin.
vi faire un pas en arrière
(=return) rendre, rapporter
→ He took the damaged shoes back to the shop.
I took it back to the shop. Je l'ai rapporté au magasin.
[+one's words] retirer
→ Take back what you said about Jeremy!
I take it all back! Je retire tout ce que j'ai dit!
(=remind of the past) ramener
It took me back to being five years old. Cela m'a ramené à mes cinq ans.
It took me back ten years. Cela m'a ramené dix ans en arrière.
(=allow to return)
[+partner, husband, wife] reprendre
→ Why did she take him back?
Thinking back, I don't know how I had the courage. Quand j'y repense, je me demande comment j'ai eu ce courage.
to think back to sth repenser à qch
→ I thought back to when my son was desperately ill.
(=go back) revenir, faire demi-tour
We turned back. Nous avons fait demi-tour.
→ The snow started to fall, so we turned back.
→ It's getting dark, we'd better turn back.
(=change plans or decision) revenir dessus
The administration has endorsed the bill and can't turn back. L'administration a endossé la facture et ne peut pas revenir dessus.
[+protesters, travellers] refouler
[+vehicle] faire faire demi-tour à
→ A lot of the cars were turned back at the border.
wing back , wing-back
n latéral m , défenseur m latéral