Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

backtrack

[bak-trak] /ˈbækˌtræk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to return over the same course or route.
2.
to withdraw from an undertaking, position, etc.; reverse a policy.
Origin of backtrack
1715-1725
An Americanism dating back to 1715-25; back2 + track
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for back-track
Historical Examples
  • "Now right about face and back-track uptown," ordered the officer.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • That was at length resolved to his satisfaction; and he rode slowly in the back-track.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
  • It was certainly the path of a war-party of Indians on the back-track.

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
  • Now that he had mounted and taken the back-track, the cause must be different.

    The Lone Ranche Captain Mayne Reid
  • I could not cross the street and the only thing to do was to back-track.

    Outwitting the Hun Pat O'Brien
  • One day's rations were issued and the boys took the back-track for Picolata.

    Company G

    A. R. (Albert Rowe) Barlow
  • The ingine has to side-step and back-track about eight times to get up the grade.

    Heart's Desire

    Emerson Hough
  • Then you can follow over the pass and hit Green Valley, or you can back-track for the Ranger's cabin and for home.

    Pluck on the Long Trail

    Edwin L. Sabin
  • “No matter about this shod horse and his back-track,” he continues, once more heading his own animal to the trail.

    Gaspar the Gaucho Mayne Reid
  • Several times the horse ran over him, the turkey on these occasions turning and taking the back-track.

    The Boy Hunters Captain Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for back-track

backtrack

/ˈbækˌtræk/
verb (intransitive)
1.
to return by the same route by which one has come
2.
to retract or reverse one's opinion, action, policy, etc
Derived Forms
backtracking, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for back-track

backtrack

v.

"retrace one's steps," figuratively, by 1896, from literal sense, with reference to hunted foxes, from back (adv.) + track (v.). Related: Backtracked; backtracking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for back-track

back-track

Related Terms

boot

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for back-track

Word Value for back

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends