Back the field


      • show support
        To express or demonstrate support for someone or something, often in a public or visible manner, especially when they are facing opposition or criticism.

      • take a risk
        To take a chance or risk on something or someone, often with the hope of achieving success or a positive outcome.

      • give up
        To concede defeat or give up on a particular goal or endeavor, often due to facing insurmountable obstacles or challenges.

      • abandon something
        To abandon or neglect something, often due to a lack of interest or commitment.

    Examples of Back the field

    • Despite the favorite's outstanding record, I decided to back the field in yesterday's race.

      I chose to support the other competitors, not the one expected to win.

    • With the polls being so unpredictable, it's safer to back the field than to put all your faith in one candidate.

      It's advised to support a range of candidates instead of just one due to the uncertain outcome.

    • In the stock market, wise investors often back the field instead of investing heavily in a single company.

      Smart investors distribute their investment across various companies rather than focusing on just one.

    • The seasoned gambler's strategy was to always back the field, spreading his bets to increase his chances of winning.

      The gambler bets on many participants to maximize his chances of winning.

    • Faced with a row of promising startups, the angel investor decided to back the field.

      The investor chose to fund multiple startups instead of just one.

    • Sure, you could go for the high-profile lawyer, but sometimes it's better to back the field and consider the underdogs.

      Opting for less well-known lawyers could be a better choice than only focusing on the most famous one.

    • When it comes to the Oscars, I tend to back the field — there are so many good films!

      I support various films for the Oscars instead of just one.

    • This year, I'm going to back the field and plant multiple crops instead of relying solely on corn.

      I plan to grow different types of crops, not just corn, to diversify my agricultural efforts.


    The idiom "back the field" has several different meanings, all centered around the idea of support. It can be used to express support for someone or something, take a risk on something, give up on a goal, or abandon something altogether. While these may seem like conflicting meanings, they all revolve around the concept of standing behind or backing something or someone.

    When used to show support, "back the field" is often used in a public or visible manner. It can be used to demonstrate solidarity with someone who is facing criticism or opposition, or to show support for a particular cause or idea. This can also be seen in the context of sports, where fans will often "back the field" by cheering for their team or displaying team colors.

    In contrast, using "back the field" to take a risk or give up on something implies a more personal and individual action. It can be a way of expressing one's determination to succeed, even in the face of difficulties or challenges. On the other hand, it can also be a way of admitting defeat and moving on to new endeavors.

    Origin of "Back the field"

    The origin of this idiom is rooted in the world of sports, particularly horse racing. In horse racing, the field refers to all of the horses participating in a race. When a bettor backs the field, they are betting on all of the horses except for the favorite. This is seen as a risky and unconventional move, as the favorite is usually seen as the most likely to win.

    Over time, the phrase "back the field" has expanded beyond the world of horse racing and is now used in various contexts to express support or take a risk. Its origins in sports also give it a competitive connotation, emphasizing the idea of taking a chance or standing behind something or someone in the face of opposition or challenges.