[ bak-trak ]
See synonyms for: backtrackbacktracking on

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

An Americanism dating back to 1715–25; back2 + track Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use backtrack in a sentence

  • Should this be so, the only way to find them was to search for their back track.

    A Final Reckoning | G. A. Henty
  • I did lose my bearings, but as my boots made deep imprints in the soft clay I knew it would be easy to back-track my trail.

  • Turning the car around the other way, he headed along the back track, gradually speeding up the motor.

    Motor Matt's Daring Rescue | Stanley R. Matthews
  • When we struck the snow-patch slope we obliqued over to our trail up, and began to back track.

    Pluck on the Long Trail | Edwin L. Sabin
  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for backtrack


/ (ˈbækˌtræk) /

  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 of backtrack

  • 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