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back-pedal

[bak-ped-l]
verb (used without object), back-ped·aled, back-ped·al·ing or (especially British) back-ped·alled, back-ped·al·ling.
  1. to retard the forward motion by pressing backward on the pedal, especially of a bicycle with coaster brakes.
  2. to retreat from or reverse one's previous stand on any matter; shift ground: to back-pedal after severe criticism.
  3. Boxing. to retreat from an opponent, especially by stepping rapidly backward.
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Origin of back-pedal

First recorded in 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for backpedalling

reconsider, renege

British Dictionary definitions for backpedalling

back-pedal

verb -pedals, -pedalling or -pedalled or US -pedals, -pedaling or -pedaled (intr)
  1. to turn the pedals of a bicycle backwards
  2. to retract or modify a previous opinion, principle, etc
  3. boxing to take backward steps
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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