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Back, subst., 1) the upper, resp. hinder part of the body: Ven. 300. Ven. 300 Ven. 300 Tp. II, 1, 115. III, 1, 26. V, 91. Wiv. V, 5, 58. Meas. III, 1, 26. LLL I, 2, 75. V, 2, 476. Mids. II, 1, 150. Shr. Ind. 2, 9. R2 I, 2, 51. H6A I, 1, 138. II, 5, 43. H6C III, 2, 157 etc. etc. “making the beast with two --s,” Oth. I, 1, 118. “but the --s of Britons seen,” Cymb. V, 3, 6. are at our --s (== are pursuing us) H6C II, 5, 133. these people at our b. (== behind us) Caes. IV, 3, 212. you knew I was at your b. (== at your elbow, near you) H4B II, 4, 334. “no glory lives behind the b. of such,” Ado III, 1, 110 (they are not praised in their absence). “'tis well you offer it behind her b.” Merch. IV, 1, 293. “being spoke behind your b.,” Rom. IV, 1, 28. “that ever turned their --s to mortal views,” LLL V, 2, 161. “when I turn my b.” Mids. III, 2, 238. As IV, 3, 128. H4B I, 1, 130. Cor. III, 3, 134. Caes. II, 1, 25. Mcb. III, 6, 41. turn b. == fly: H4A I, 2, 206. Caes. V, 3, 3.
Properly and figuratively, the part of the body which bears burdens: “more than our --s can bear,” Tit. IV, 3, 48. “his losses that have of late so huddled on his back,” Merch. IV, 1, 28. “a pack of blessings lights upon thy b.” Rom. III, 3, 141. “bearing their own misfortunes on the b. of such as have before endured the like,” R2 V, 5, 29. “I have years on my b. forty eight,” Lr. I, 4, 42. “crack my sinews, break my b.” Tp. III, 1, 26. H6B IV, 8, 30. H6C V, 7, 24. H8 I, 1, 84. Tim. II, 1, 24. “break some gallows' b.” H4B IV, 3, 32.
Used for the whole body, in speaking of clothes: “clothe a b.” Meas. III, 2, 23. “bearing their birthrights proudly on their --s,” John II, 70. “it lies as lightly on the b. of him,” II, 143. “the cloak of night being pluck'd from off their --s,” R2 III, 2, 45. “I bought you a dozen of shirts to your b.” H4A III, 3, 78. “his apparel is built upon his b.” H4B III, 2, 155. “with my armour on my b.” H5 V, 2, 143. “she bears a duke's revenues on her b.,” H6B I, 3, 83. “since you will buckle fortune on my b.” R3 III, 7, 228. “have broke their --s with laying manors on them,” H8 I, 1, 84. “contempt and beggary hangs upon thy b.” Rom. V, 1, 71. “we'll die with harness on our b.” Mcb. V, 5, 52. “who hath had three suits to his b.” Lr. III, 4, 141. “with that suit upon my b.” Cymb. III, 5, 141. Peculiar expressions: “when Gods have hot --s,” Wiv. V, 5, 13, i. e. have carnal desires. “Steel to the very b.,” Tit. IV, 3, 47, i. e. not only in the edge, but also in the back, throughout; the comparison being taken from a knife.
2) the rear of an army: “he leaves his b. unarmed,” H4B I, 3, 79. “other foes may set upon our --s,” H6C V, 1, 61.
3) the outward part of the hand: Caes. I, 2, 221.
4) a support in reserve: “this project should have a b. or second, that might hold, if this should blast in proof,” Hml. IV, 7, 154.
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