1

backstep

play
noun back·step \ˈbak-ˌstep\

Definition of backstep

plural

backsteps

  1. :  a backward step A rugged, aggressive, hard-punching pugilist who refuses to take a backstep in the ring … — San Gabriel Valley Tribune (California), 21 Oct. 2009

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

1562

First Known Use of backstep

1562


2

backstep

play
intransitive verb back·step \ˈbak-ˌstep\

Definition of backstep

backstepped

;

backstepping

;

backsteps

  1. 1 :  to take a step backward Gwynn deflected the axe again and backstepped rapidly, trying to get some space in which to catch a breath. — K. J. Bishop, The Etched City, 2003

  2. 2 :  to modify, retreat from, or reverse a position or stand once taken :  backtrack 2 Kentucky legislators forced multi-age classes on its elementary schools in 1992 as part of an education overhaul, but backstepped last year by allowing unhappy schools to opt out. — Susan Hill Smith, Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina), 16 Sept. 1997

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

1900

First Known Use of backstep

1900


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up backstep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!