a return to a former higher rank, popularity, position, prosperity, etc.: The ex-champion kept trying to make a comeback.
a clever or effective retort; rejoinder; riposte: That was a great comeback the comedian made to the hecklers.
Informal. a basis or cause of complaint: If you insist on buying these pointed shoes, you'll have no comeback when your toes start to hurt.

Origin of comeback

First recorded in 1815–25; noun use of verb phrase come back Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for comeback

Contemporary Examples of comeback

Historical Examples of comeback

  • While I turned to answer it, my mind was still hunting a comeback to this.

  • As she's beamin' straight at me I has to give her some comeback.

    Torchy As A Pa

    Sewell Ford

  • Angela gasped: "Oh, comeback, comeback, darling Miss Humf'ay!"

    Once Aboard The Lugger

    Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson

  • Now, with every chance for a comeback, Nan wanted me to pass!

    The Scapegoat

    Richard Maples

  • I didn't have any comeback about that, for there was certainly some truth in what he says.

    Believe You Me!

    Nina Wilcox Putnam

British Dictionary definitions for comeback


noun informal

a return to a former position, status, etc
a return or response, esp recriminatory
a quick reply; retort

verb come back (intr, adverb)

to return
to become fashionable again
to reply after a period of considerationI'll come back to you on that next week
US and Canadian to argue back; retort
come back to someone (of something forgotten) to return to someone's memory
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

Word Origin and History for comeback

"verbal retort," 1889, from come + back (adj.). Meaning "recovery, return to former position or condition after retirement or loss" is attested from 1908, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper