Word:

background

back´ground`
n.1.
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.
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.
A husband somewhere in the background.
- Thackeray.
5.The set of conditions within which an action takes place, including the social and physical conditions as well as the psychological states of the participants; as, within the background of the massive budget deficits of the 1980's, new spending programs had little chance of passage by the congress.
6.The set of conditions that precede and affect an action, such as the social and historical precedents for the event, as well as the general background{5}; as, against the background of their expulsion by the Serbs, the desire of Kosovars for vengeance is understandable though regrettable.
7.(Science) The signals that may be detected by a measurement which are not due to the phenomenon being studied, and tend to make the measurement uncertain to a greater or lesser degree.
8.(Journalism) An agreement between a journalist and an interviewee that the name of the interviewee will not be quoted in any publication, although the substance of the remarks may be reported; - often used in the phrase "on background". Compare deep background.
To place in the background
to make of little consequence.
To keep in the background
to remain unobtrusive, inconspicuous or out of sight; - of people.
deep background
(Journalism) the status of an interview which must not be quoted in a publication, even without attribution. Compare background{8}.
Noun1.background - a person's social heritage: previous experience or training; "he is a lawyer with a sports background"
2.background - the part of a scene (or picture) that lies behind objects in the foreground; "he posed her against a background of rolling hills"
Synonyms: ground
3.background - information that is essential to understanding a situation or problem; "the embassy filled him in on the background of the incident"
4.background - 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"
5.background - relatively unimportant or inconspicuous accompanying situation; "when the rain came he could hear the sound of thunder in the background"
6.background - the state of the environment in which a situation exists; "you can't do that in a university setting"
Synonyms: scope, setting
7.background - (computer science) the area of the screen in graphical user interfaces against which icons and windows appear
8.backgroundbackground - scenery hung at back of stage
Synonyms: backcloth, backdrop
Verb1.background - understate the importance or quality of; "he played down his royal ancestry"
Synonyms: play down, downplay
Antonyms:
foreground, highlight, play up, spotlight - move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent; "The introduction highlighted the speaker's distinguished career in linguistics"
1.(operating system)background - 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.(jargon)background - 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).
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, twist, unnoticed, unobtrusive, unseen, upbringing, vanishing point, walk, worldly wisdom, wrestling ring
Translate background to Spanish, Translate background to German, Translate background to French
Browse
backcross
backdate
Backdoor
Backdown
backdrop
Backed
backed up
Backer
Backfall
backfield
backfire
backflow
backflowing
Backfriend
backgammon
backgammon board
-- background --
background knowledge
background level
background noise
background processing
background radiation
background retinopathy
background signal
backgrounder
backgrounding
Backhand
backhand drive
backhand shot
backhand stroke
Backhanded
Backhandedness
Backhander
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