a pain, especially in the lumbar region of the back, usually caused by the strain of a muscle or ligament.
Historical Examples

I should have calloused hands and the back-ache at times; but my sleep would be sweet.
The Seat of Empire Charles Carleton Coffin

How could a back-ache over the pea-bed compensate for these felicities?
Humorous Masterpieces from American Literature Various

She may soon suffer from, if she does not complain of, back-ache and other attendant troubles, the simple result of weakness.
The Education of American Girls Anna Callender Brackett

back-ache, the reader will allow, would take the poetry out of a honeymoon trip.
Romantic Spain John Augustus O’Shea

All across that lake I ate snow, and that and the back-ache legacy of an old strain are my signs of approaching exhaustion.
Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled Hudson Stuck

There was an end of my back-ache when the rod and I could straighten ourselves and leave the men to tail out the fish.
Lines in Pleasant Places William Senior

Mr. Doan, with his back-ache pills, would have done well if he had sent one of his travellers with samples round there that night.
Bullets & Billets Bruce Bairnsfather

an ache or pain in one’s back

c.1600, from back (n.) + ache (n.).

backache back·ache (bāk’āk’)
Discomfort or a pain in the region of the back or spine.


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  • Backswing

    the movement of a bat, racket, or the like, toward the back of a player in preparation for the forward movement with which the ball is struck. Historical Examples On the backswing, it thwacked resoundingly against the thug’s ribcage. Nor Iron Bars a Cage…. Gordon Randall Garrett

  • Back-dated

    to date earlier than the actual date; predate; antedate: Backdate the letter so he’ll think I wrote it last week. verb (transitive) to make effective from an earlier date: the pay rise was backdated to August v. also back-date, by 1881 (implied in back-dated), from back (adv.) + date (v.1). Cf. antedate. Related: Backdated; backdating.

  • Back-end load

    noun the final charges of commission and expenses made by an investment trust, insurance policy, etc, when the investor is paid out

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