I'm reviewing vocabulary, and reached 前景, and one of its meanings is the foreground (of, say, a movie set or a photograph). ChatGPT uses 背景 as its antonym, but I'm wondering if 后景 is usable, since the antonym of 前 (in 前景) is 后 (in 后景).

I didn't find 后景 in CC-CEDICT, so I'm guessing it's rare or obsolete or something. Or maybe 后景 is the more precise, technical word.

Question: As an antonym of 前景 ("foreground"), is it better to use 后景 or 背景?

3 Answers 3


后景 indeed exists as a word, but I dot not personally recall it being used. I think people will understand it if you use it. Of course 背景 is the more common word choice.

References: 现代汉语词典 第7版 p. 545 后景 explanation

现代汉语大词典 p. 1144

后景 explanation

画面上衬托在主体后面的景物, Background of an image

对人物、事件起作用的历史情况或现实环境, Background of an event


背景 (background) is the right word.

It in fact matches the English words: 前 = fore, 背 = back.

I've never seen usage of 后景, which feels strange and describing some abstract thing.

  • indeed, if I saw 後景, my first thought would be something along the lines of previous-ground, maybe in an application like photoshop with more than two "grounds" it could see use (◐‿◑)
    – zagrycha
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 23:21

prefer "背景" since it is much more common in Chinese

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