Backward backwards

Backward and Backwards

What’s the Difference?

Backward and Backwards used as an adverb mean “toward the past” or “toward a less advanced state.”

When used as an adverb, both are correct. Once again, the British prefer backwards, and the Americans backward. 

But only backward is used as an adjective meaning “directed toward the past” or “reversed.”


He gave a backward glance at the sunset.

The car sped in a backward direction.


2 thoughts on “Backward and Backwards”

  1. I believe “backwards” can also be used as an adjective, but not regarding physical movement.
    “His was a backwards philosophy abandoned generations ago.”
    “They were a backwards people with backwards superstitions.”

  2. Nice to know that at my old age, I’ve learned something new…. even after all the English courses I’ve had in school.

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