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[bak-trak] /ˈbækˌtræk/
verb (used without object)
to return over the same course or route.
to withdraw from an undertaking, position, etc.; reverse a policy.
Origin of backtrack
An Americanism dating back to 1715-25; back2 + track Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for backtrack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To-morrow I'll sell the grub and backtrack to the coast to guard it.

    The Trail of a Sourdough May Kellogg Sullivan
  • Loring realized he had made a mistake and tried to backtrack.

    Danger in Deep Space Carey Rockwell
  • Following their backtrack through the forest, therefore, they proceeded towards the place where they had left their horses.

    Bruin Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for backtrack


verb (intransitive)
to return by the same route by which one has come
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
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Word Origin and History for backtrack

"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
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