backpedal

verb
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 Deputies and officers backpedal out of the condo and two officers and a deputy stumble and fall over each other. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Now Italy’s Matteo Salvini, Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, France’s Marine Le Pen, and others are trying to backpedal without completely reversing previous positions. Noah Robertson, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Mar. 2022 The nation’s top health agency is expected to backpedal Tuesday on its masking guidelines and recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging, according to a federal official. Mike Stobbe, chicagotribune.com, 27 July 2021 The nation’s top health agency is expected to backpedal Tuesday on its masking guidelines and recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging, according to a federal official. Time, 27 July 2021 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 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near backpedal

back pay

backpedal

backpiece

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Cite this Entry

“Backpedal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backpedal. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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