turn back


1

Reverse one's direction, as in We had to turn back earlier than expected. [First half of 1500s]

2

Drive someone back or away, as in They turned back anyone who didn't have an invitation, or Our forces soon turned back the enemy. [First half of 1500s]

3

Fold down, as in Turn back the page you're on to keep your place in the magazine. [Second half of 1800s] Also see turn one's back on.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Example sentences from the Web for turn back

  • He had no canoe, but he was a good swimmer, yet when he came to Turn-back Lake, he found it too broad to swim.

  • A short distance beyond they came to a small rock monument; Craig's turn-back point.

    Space Prison|Tom Godwin
  • It was winter when he came over, and he had on a coat with turn-back cuffs.

    Germany in War Time|Mary Ethel McAuley