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Back staff

an obsolete instrument for determining the altitude of the sun by facing away from the sun, sighting upon the horizon, adjusting a cursor until its shadow falls upon the sight through which the horizon appears, and measuring the resulting arc.


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  • Backstage

    behind the proscenium in a theater, especially in the wings or dressing rooms. toward the rear of the stage; upstage. out of view of the public; in private; behind the scenes: Many of the deals were made backstage at the convention. located or occurring backstage. of or relating to activities unknown to the public. of […]

  • Backstairs

    associated or originating with household servants. secret, underhanded, or scandalous: backstairs gossip. Contemporary Examples Which means that every seat contains someone who is reclining straight into the lap of their backstairs neighbor. Should People Stop Reclining Their Seats? Megan McArdle February 19, 2013 Historical Examples But I hope one of the results of this war […]

  • Back stairs

    stairs at the back of a house, as for use by servants. a means of intrigue. Historical Examples Beauty must exert what power it could in the boudoir and on the back stairs. Lola Montez Edmund B. d’Auvergne The housekeeper made a hasty exit by way of the back stairs. The Portygee Joseph Crosby Lincoln […]

  • Backstay

    Machinery. a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism. Building Trades. an anchored tension member, as a cable, permanently or temporarily supporting a compression member, as a tower or pole, subject to a pull above its base from the opposite direction. a strip of leather at the back of a shoe used for reinforcement and […]

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