AskDefine | Define backwater

Dictionary Definition



1 a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam; "the bayous and backwaters are breeding grounds for mosquitos"
2 any backward region that is isolated from the world and resists progress

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


  1. The water held back by a dam or other obstruction
  2. a remote place; somewhere that remains unaffected by new events, progresses, ideas, etc.
    It's fun exploring the backwaters of Wiktionary and seeing what messes we find when we get there.
  3. A rowing stroke in which the oar is pushed forward to stop the boat; see back water


  1. To row or paddle a backwater stroke.
  2. To vacillate on a long-held position.

Extensive Definition

Backwater or Backwaters may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Charybdis, Maelstrom, abjure, arrest, back, back away, back down, back off, back out, back stream, back up, backcountry, backflow, backpedal, backtrack, backtrail, backwash, backwoods, boondocks, brake, bush, check, climb down, clip the wings, countercurrent, counterflow, counterflux, countermarch, crawfish out, cry off, curb, decelerate, delay, deny, detain, disavow, disclaim, disown, dodge, draw rein, duck, ease off, ease up, eat crow, eat humble pie, eddy, elude, evade, forswear, get around, go astern, go into reverse, gulf, gurge, hinterland, hold back, hold in check, hold up, impede, keep back, let down, let up, lose ground, lose momentum, lose speed, maelstrom, make sternway, moderate, obstruct, recant, reef, refluence, reflux, regurgitation, rein in, relax, renege, renounce, repudiate, resile, retard, retract, reverse, revoke, set back, shirk, sidestep, slack off, slack up, slacken, slow, slow down, slow up, stay, sticks, swallow, swirl, take back, take in sail, throttle down, twirl, unsay, up-country, vortex, welsh, whirl, whirlpool, withdraw
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