back and forth


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back and forth

1. adjective In one direction and then another in an alternating fashion. During the party, I went back and forth to the kitchen to get drinks for the guests. The kids are outside throwing the baseball back and forth. The union and management are still going back and forth in the contract negotiation.
2. noun An argument or discussion in which two or more people alternate in sharing their perspectives. They're having a real back and forth up there—can you hear them yelling? I think we should have a little back and forth before we make a final decision.
See also: and, back, forth

back and forth

in one direction and then the other repeatedly; from one place to another repeatedly. We tossed the ball back and forth between us. The tiger paced back and forth in its cage.
See also: and, back, forth

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]
See also: and, back, forth

ˌback and ˈforth

(also ˌbackwards and ˈforwards) in one direction and then in the opposite one, repeatedly: The rope swung back and forth from the branch.She travels backwards and forwards between the factory and head office.
See also: and, back, forth
References in periodicals archive ?
Immediately after melt oscillation, Scorim can move the two pistons back and forth in concert, creating compression and decompression effects in the cavity.
Each month we spray a light silicone lubricant on the locking handle and work the handle back and Forth until it moves Freely.
Moreover, when volunteers hold their hands palm to palm, the vibrating device on either the right or left wrist tendon makes them perceive both hands as moving back and forth. Primary motor cortex on the right side of the brain regulates left-side movements, and that on the left side controls right-side movements.
In A la Motte, 1993, time-lapse photography records a delicate white moth eating a hole into a sheet of black knitting; in Parade, 1993, a cadre of silkworms troop back and forth across the screen in a kind of instinctive calligraphy.
2 : a vehicle (as a bus or train) that goes back and forth over a short route
Brush back and forth, not side to side, to avoid damage.
One version forms the dynein arms, whose motion whips 9+2 cilia back and forth. The second acts as a motor that helps transport cargo along microtubules.
5 : to move back and forth or from side to side while hanging from a fixed point <Sheets swung on the clothes line.>
Light emitted by the PPV layer reflects back and forth between the two surfaces until a single wavelength emerges from one side of the device.
1 : a rapid motion (as of a stretched cord) back and forth
Whenever the floor moves, the computer sends signals that drive the movable mass back and forth to compensate for the vibration.
"Imagine a marble in a bowl, rolling back and forth," says Monroe.
To charge and discharge the battery lithium ions "rock" back and forth between the battery's two electrodes, says Dominique Guyomard of the University of Nantes, France.
When they injected some noise by introducing fluctuations into the electronic signals controlling the laser, they found that the laser's light direction would switch back and forth in time with an incoming, periodic signal normally too weak to influence the laser.
The switching back and forth introduces a lot of systematic errors that reduce the accuracy.