General English

General Science


  • noun a set of conditions which are always present in the environment, but are less obvious or less important than others


  • noun the part of a picture that is behind the main object of interest
  • noun a system in a computer where low-priority work can be done in the intervals when very important work is not being done


  • All the phenomena which are present in any given physical apparatus or its surrounding environment, other than that which is specifically intended for observation or measurement. For instance, background radiation present when utilizing a Geiger counter. These have an especially noticeable effect when measuring small signals.
  • On a computer screen that has more than one window open, all windows except the one that is currently being interacted with, which is the foreground (1) window.
  • On a screen or display, the area that is not being specifically interacted with or observed. Also called display background.
  • On a screen or display, the area against which characters and/or graphics are displayed.
  • In computers, processing and other functions that occur while a user is occupied with other tasks.

Information & Library Science

  • noun scenery behind the main people and objects in a picture or photograph


  • noun the previous experience, cultural background or family connections that someone has
  • noun general facts about a situation including relevant information about what happened in the past

Media Studies

  • noun part of a feature that gives background details to the main part of a news story