back·​track ˈbak-ˌtrak How to pronounce backtrack (audio)
backtracked; backtracking; backtracks

intransitive verb

: to retrace one's course
: to go back to an earlier point in a sequence
: to reverse a position

Examples of backtrack in a Sentence

The hikers realized they had made a wrong turn and would have to backtrack. Let me backtrack for a moment and pick up our previous conversation.
Recent Examples on the Web Rather than backtrack, though, Reddit's CEO doubled down. Kegan Mooney, PCMAG, 18 Sep. 2023 The plaza’s bicycle trail and botanical trail will have a dead end before the hill that leads to the Arch Rock, but guests, both walking and riding a bike, will have an alternate route to loop backtracking to Winnebago Trail near the Arch Rock area. Jasmin Barmore, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2023 One thing to avoid is backtracking on diversity commitments, which some employers have started to do. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 10 Aug. 2023 Abby Lee Miller is backtracking after dropping something so disturbing that social media wanted to send her back to jail. Emily St. Martin, Los Angeles Times, 11 Sep. 2023 When you’re done, backtrack to cross the suspension bridge, which leads to the last stretch of the trail: a 2.2-mile climb to the stone shelter at the summit of Cape Perpetua. oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2023 Yet after lugging her gear onto a municipal bus and then onto the Cabriolet lift that delivers guests to the northernmost base of the country’s largest ski area, Kellner couldn’t backtrack fast enough. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Aug. 2023 DaBaby is no stranger to controversy, having to backtrack some questionable lyrics about JoJo Siwa earlier this year. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 So kind of like backtrack the ball and start driving it the other way. Julian McWilliams,, 27 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backtrack.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1870, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of backtrack was in 1870

Dictionary Entries Near backtrack

Cite this Entry

“Backtrack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


back·​track ˈbak-ˌtrak How to pronounce backtrack (audio)
: to go back over a course or path
: to reverse a position or stand

More from Merriam-Webster on backtrack

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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