back·​ped·​al | \ ˈbak-ˌpe-dᵊl How to pronounce backpedal (audio) \
backpedaled; backpedaling; backpedals

Definition of backpedal

intransitive verb

: to retreat or move backward

Examples of backpedal in a Sentence

The outfielder backpedaled a few steps to catch the fly ball.
Recent Examples on the Web Plus, once Loeb stepped into the room behind LaBeouf and Kirby they’d be trapped, unless Mundruczó could backpedal out. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, 12 Jan. 2021 Now Libra is backpedaling to say that anyone who wants to verify transactions on the network will need to gain certain approvals. Kurt Wagner, Fortune, 16 Apr. 2020 However, the ink was barely dry on the law before the Supreme Court backpedaled on applying it. New York Times, 28 Oct. 2019 The California Republican Party accused Newsom of backpedaling. Amy Taxin And Adam Beam, USA TODAY, 1 May 2020 Daniels backpedaled, trying to buy himself some time. Tim Rohan,, 27 Sep. 2019 Just three weeks later, Spotify backpedaled, returning XXXTentacion’s music to its playlists (though R. Kelly seemed to remain off of them). Harley Brown, Billboard, 3 Apr. 2019 Later that evening, officials backpedaled, saying his case needs more review by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNN, 26 Mar. 2020 Some amongst the player leadership ranks also worried that the owners could backpedal on some of their concessions, weakening the CBA. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backpedal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backpedal

1896, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of backpedal was in 1896

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Cite this Entry

“Backpedal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of backpedal

: to move backward with quick steps

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