Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to forwards: Currency Forwards

backward(s) and forward(s)

Back and forth; moving in one direction and then the opposite. Can be used literally to refer to something or someone moving in such a way, or figuratively to refer to a situation in which no progress is made (e.g., an argument). I was pacing backwards and forwards in my room last night, worrying about this morning's exam. The two candidates debated the gun laws backward and forward, but neither could offer a productive solution in the end.
See also: and

know (something) backwards and forwards

To be extremely familiar with a particular subject, field, or piece of writing, film, music, etc. I've read this book so many times, I know it backwards and forwards. You should ask Samantha about the issue—she knows car engines backwards and forwards.
See also: and, backward, forwards, know

flash forward

1. verb To depict future events, as in a book, TV show, or movie. The show then flashes forward to connect the present and the future.
2. noun A scene or instance in a book, TV show, or movie that depicts future events. In this usage, the phrase is often hyphenated or written as one word. The show makes use of flash-forwards to connect the present and the future.
See also: flash, forward

lurch forward

To move forward abruptly, jerkily, or joltingly. Suddenly, Tom lurched forward and ran to the railing so he could vomit over the side of the ship. The train lurched forward, and my coffee spilled all over my lap as a result.
See also: forward, lurch

know something backwards and forwards and know something forwards and backwards

Fig. to know something very well; to know a passage of language so well that one could recite it backwards as well as forwards. Of course I've memorized my speech. I know it backwards and forwards.
See also: and, backward, forwards, know

lurch forward

to jerk or sway forward. The car lurched forward and shook us around. When the train lurched forward, we were pushed back into our seats.
See also: forward, lurch

backward and forward

Also, backwards and forwards.
1. Same as back and forth.
2. Thoroughly, completely, as in He read the speech over and over, until he knew it backwards and forwards. [Late 1500s]
See also: and, backward, forward

know like a book

Also, know like the back of one's hand or know backwards and forwards. Be extremely familiar with or knowledgeable about; understand perfectly. For example, I know Greg like a book-I'm sure he'll come, or I know this town like the back of my hand, or John knew his part backwards and forwards. The first of these hyperbolic idioms, dating from the early 1800s, has a close cousin in read like a book, which means "to discern someone's intent," as in I can read Greg like a book; also see under open book. The second ( back of hand) dates only from the mid-1900s. Also see backwards and forwards, def. 2; inside out, def. 2; know all the answers.
See also: book, know, like

know something backwards

mainly BRITISH or

know something backwards and forwards

If you know a subject backwards, you know a lot about it. I thoroughly enjoy lecturing and know my subject backwards. He will be very much in demand. He knows the business backwards. They know company personnel policy backwards and forwards.
See also: backward, know, something

know something backwards

be entirely familiar with something.
1991 William Trevor Reading Turgenev People who lived in the town knew it backwards.
See also: backward, know, something

flash forward

To undergo a change of scene to a future point in time as a narrative device: The first scene of the movie shows a boy playing with a ball, and then the next scene flashes forward to the character's adulthood.
See also: flash, forward
References in classic literature ?
The men wavered in indecision for a moment, and then with a long, wailful cry the dilapidated regiment surged forward and began its new journey.
Within him, as he hurled himself forward, was born a love, a despairing fondness for this flag which was near him.
Numa gave a nervous start and attempted to break away; but Tarzan held him and, leaping to his feet, ran forward, dragging Numa after him.
Tarzan pushed Numa forward until his head was almost in the aperture, then as though it were an afterthought, he turned quickly and, taking the machine gun from the parapet, placed it in the bottom of the hole close at hand, after which he turned again to Numa, and with his knife quickly cut the garters that held the bags upon his front paws.
Goading him on the ape-man finally succeeded in getting the lion sufficiently far into the tunnel so that there was no chance of his escaping other than by going forward or deliberately backing into the sharp blade at his rear.
But firing is infectious - and see how rapidly he moves, with never a pause except as he whirls his horse about to take a new direction, never directly backward toward us, never directly forward toward his executioners.
Now - the glass again - he has tired of his failure, or sees his error, or has gone mad; he is dashing directly forward at the wall, as if to take it at a leap, hedge and all!
Again the spell is broken; our men attempt to cheer; they are choking with emotion; they utter hoarse, discordant cries; they clutch their weapons and press tumultuously forward into the open.
"Wouldn't it be better if you went forward, say by the steerage companion-way, until it is over?" I suggested.
Their movements perceptibly quickened under his coaching, and as the boat swung inboard I was sent forward to let go the jibs.
The shapely figure of the fair-haired soldier, with his clear blue eyes, stepped forward from the ranks, went up to the commander in chief, and presented arms.
It was a favourable change, and the Tankadere again bounded forward on this mountainous sea, though the waves crossed each other, and imparted shocks and counter-shocks which would have crushed a craft less solidly built.
A small brass cannon stood on the forward deck of the Tankadere, for making signals in the fogs.
You have hats--go forward and bail for your lives!"
At such a moment as this, came from away forward that most appalling of all cries that are ever heard at sea: