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[draw-bak] /ˈdrɔˌbæk/
a hindrance or disadvantage; an undesirable or objectionable feature.
Commerce. an amount paid back from a charge made.
Government. a refund of tariff or other tax, as when imported goods are reexported.
Origin of drawback
First recorded in 1610-20; noun use of verb phrase draw back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for draw back
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet now that we must meet this thing, you draw back, and would tie my hands as well.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • He might make mistakes, but he would not doubt and hesitate and draw back.

    The Rock of Chickamauga Joseph A. Altsheler
  • Was there anything in you that began to draw back from anything in him?

    Bride of the Mistletoe James Lane Allen
  • I am no lover of sentimental trips on the sea; but this was not the time to draw back.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
  • So binding do I count them, that, if I would, I could not now draw back.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • The traveller seemed to draw back into his shell at the mention of gold.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • Thousands of Arabs will fight there, and I shall not draw back.

    At Aboukir and Acre George Alfred Henty
  • But it was too late to draw back; too late even to refuse to help him.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice
  • The current was gripping us angrily now; there was no chance to draw back.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
British Dictionary definitions for draw back


a disadvantage or hindrance
a refund of customs or excise duty paid on goods that are being exported or used in the production of manufactured exports
verb (intransitive, adverb) often foll by from
to retreat; move backwards
to turn aside from an undertaking
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 draw back



"hindrance, disadvantage,"1720, from draw (v.) + back (adv.). The notion is of something that "holds back" success or activity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with draw back

draw back

Retreat, as in The heckler drew back into the crowd to avoid being identified. [ c. 1300 ]
Withdraw from an undertaking, as in I was too deeply committed to draw back now. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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