What is the meaning of "behind" in the following sentences?

Xilinx is the engine behind 5G radio and mMIMO deployment. Only Xilinx provides adaptable 5G communication platforms, with highly integrated silicon featuring RF ADC & DACs, accelerated 5G NR, and the highest efficiency performance for mMIMO Radios, macro base station, and small cell deployments.

(Soruce==> https://www.xilinx.com/applications/wireless-communications/wireless-connectivity.html)

Does "Xilinx is the engine behind 5G radio and mMIMO deployment" mean "Xilinx is the engine in order to work 5G radio and mMIMO deployment" ?

Does "behind" in the sentence mean "in order to work" or "for" ?

1 Answer 1


American Heritage Dictionary "behind" (6)
In a position or attitude of support

Merriam-Webster "behind" (4a)
in support of : on the side of

Collins Dictionary "behind" (6)
6 If something or someone is behind you, they support you and help you.

So, the preposition "behind" means supporting. However, using the word "engine" ("the engine behind 5G") tries to claim a central role for Xilinx equipment, as if it were essential. This advertising seems to claim that Xilinx is indispensible.

  • 1
    Dictionary.com has "originating, supporting, or promoting". I think the "originating" sense is most apropos here. It's also used in phrases like "the company behind Spaghetti-O's" or "the people behind Breaking Bad". I'm surprised 2 of the dictionaries you cited don't include this sense. (Collins has "The people, reason, or events behind a situation are the causes of it or are responsible for it.")
    – The Photon
    Jun 2, 2020 at 5:22
  • 1
    The dictionary.com definition would sure fit. The reason I didn't include that sense from Collins is that is seems to be a negative one, as in "who is behind the mischief". Jun 2, 2020 at 6:29

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