Origin of back-and-forth
Words nearby back-and-forth
MORE ABOUT BACK AND FORTH
What does back-and-forth mean?
Back-and-forth is a noun that means an argument or discussion in which little gets resolved.
Back-and-forth is also used to describe something having a movement pattern in which it repeatedly moves somewhere and returns to where it started.
A back-and-forth is a discussion where two or more people are failing to reach a compromise or a solution, as in I had a very long back-and-forth with my girlfriend about what to do with my dog.
A back-and-forth is a much less productive version of a give-and-take, where people more easily reach a compromise.
As an adjective, back-and-forth describes a movement from one point to another and then back to the original point, as in The audience stared at the back-and-forth movements of the hypnotist’s watch. Such a movement might be forward and backward and forward again or from one side to another and back to the first side.
Example: The budget discussion became an intense back-and-forth where neither side wanted to concede anything.
Where does back-and-forth come from?
If something literally moves backward and then forward, it is back where it started. It makes no progress. The figurative noun sense likely alludes to this idea of a lack of progress.
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What are some synonyms for back-and-forth?
What are some words that share a root or word element with back-and-forth?
What are some words that often get used in discussing back-and-forth?
How is back-and-forth used in real life?
Back-and-forth is most often used to refer to an unresolved argument or something that moves backward and forward.
“Instead of just calling you and getting the task done in 3 minutes, I insist on 27 back-and-forth emails.” – way too many people I know
— George Hahn (@georgehahn) January 29, 2021
Ratchet: A tool consisting of a handle with a built-in mechanism allowing it to be turned using a back-and-forth motion in cramped spaces.
— Blackbeard (@scissorspeaks) June 22, 2012
Time is money. The next time someone reaches out to sell you their services, here's how you avoid endless back-and-forth emails: "Thank you for reaching out. What are your rates?"
— Carlos Gil 📙 (@carlosgil83) September 19, 2019
Try using back-and-forth!
True or False?
A back-and-forth is an argument that goes unresolved or fails to lead to a compromise.
How to use back-and-forth in a sentence
As an example of good science-and-society policymaking, the history of fluoride may be more of a cautionary tale.
Think back to the Bush-Kerry race of 2004, the Thrilla in Vanilla.
Back in New York, the slow pace and inward focus of her yoga practice was less fulfilling.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Music is a huge part of the tone of Black Dynamite overall—going back to the original 2009 movie on which the series is based.‘Black Dynamite’ Presents Police Brutality: The Musical|Stereo Williams|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The al Qaeda-linked gunmen shot back, but only managed to injure one officer before they were taken out.
I waited three months more, in great impatience, then sent him back to the same post, to see if there might be a reply.The Boarded-Up House|Augusta Huiell Seaman
Ages back—let musty geologists tell us how long ago—'twas a lake, larger than the Lake of Geneva.
The boys were tumbling about, clinging to his legs, imploring that numerous things be brought back to them.
With a suffocating gasp, she fell back into the chair on which she sat, and covered her face with her hands.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter
She was holding the back of her chair with one hand; her loose sleeve had slipped almost to the shoulder of her uplifted arm.
Other Idioms and Phrases with back-and-forth
Also, backward(s) and forward(s). To and fro, moving in one direction and then the opposite and so making no progress in either. For example, The clock pendulum swung back and forth. The term is also used figuratively, as in The lawyers argued the point backwards and forwards for an entire week. [c. 1600]