to retard the forward motion by pressing backward on the pedal, especially of a bicycle with coaster brakes.
to retreat from or reverse one's previous stand on any matter; shift ground: to back-pedal after severe criticism.
Boxing. to retreat from an opponent, especially by stepping rapidly backward.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use back-pedal in a sentence
Well upset—I cant swim—save the girls—dont blow up the engine—throw us a life preserver—back water—back pedal—put on brakes!The Motor Boys Afloat | Clarence Young
I am also the inventor of the back pedal braking and coasting bicycle hub, which has been in general use for many years.The Invention of the Track Circuit | American Railway Association
Several times, when I wanted to slow up, I began to back-pedal, forgetting that I wasn't on my bicycle.Tom Swift and his Motor-cycle | Victor Appleton
British Dictionary definitions for back-pedal
to turn the pedals of a bicycle backwards
to retract or modify a previous opinion, principle, etc
boxing to take backward steps
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