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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Distant stars appear to have a smaller wobble than nearby stars as they move across the sky, but their back-and-forth motion remains the same.
A nearby planet imparts a larger back-and-forth velocity to the star, which shows up as a larger shift in wavelength.
If the companions are invisible, the star's orbital motion will betray their presence: Astronomers will see the orbital motion as a cyclic back-and-forth, either in the line of sight (radial motion) or across the sky (proper motion).