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back-pedal

[ bak-ped-l ]
/ ˈbækˌpɛd l /
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verb (used without object), back-ped·aled, back-ped·al·ing or (especially British) back-ped·alled, back-ped·al·ling.

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.

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON “THEIR,” “THERE,” AND “THEY’RE”

Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
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Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of back-pedal

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for back-pedal

British Dictionary definitions for back-pedal

back-pedal

verb -pedals, -pedalling or -pedalled or US -pedals, -pedaling or -pedaled (intr)

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
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