background · noun /ˈbæk.grɑʊnd/Full view
background (EXPERIENCE)
B1 C a person's education, family and experience of life
Dictionary examples:

The school has pupils from many different ethnic/cultural/religious backgrounds.

They come from a wealthy background.

Learner example:

You can learn a lot about our cultural background. (Preliminary English Test; B1; Japanese)

background (SOUND)
B2 no plural sounds that you can hear that are not the main sounds that you are listening to
Dictionary examples:

background music/noise

If you listen carefully to this piece of music, you can hear a flute in the background.

Learner example:

The exotic food together with oriental music in the background makes you dream of exotic places. (First Certificate in English; B2; German)

background (PICTURE)
B2 C or U the things that can be seen behind the main things or people in a picture
Dictionary examples:

gold stars on a black background

The artist himself did not paint the backgrounds to his pictures - they were done by his pupils.

He has photographed her against lots of different backgrounds.

Learner example:

There are lots of nice trees and flowers which I think, would compose an interesting background. (First Certificate in English; B2; Polish)

background (SITUATION)
B2 U or no plural the situation that an event happens in, or things which have happened in the past which affect it
Dictionary examples:

These decisions are being made against a background of high unemployment.

Can you give me some background on the situation?

Learner example:

The background of the story is life in a small town in one of the southern states of the USA in the early 1930s. (First Certificate in English; B2; Polish)

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