come·back | \ˈkəm-ˌbak \

Definition of comeback 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a sharp or witty reply : retort

b : a cause for complaint

2 : a return to a former position or condition (as of success or prosperity) : recovery, revival staging his ultimate comeback from self-imposed exile— Howard Mandel

come back


Definition of come back (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to return to life or vitality

2 : to return to memory it's all coming back to me now

3 : reply, retort when questioned, he came back with a vehement denial

4a : to regain a former favorable condition or position

b : to recover from a deficit in a contest or competition … it was the first time in NHL history that a team was down by three goals inside the final five minutes and came back to win a game.— Mike Harrington

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Synonyms & Antonyms for comeback

Synonyms: Noun

answer, rejoinder, reply, response, retort, return

Synonyms: Verb

answer, rejoin, reply, respond, retort, return, riposte

Antonyms: Noun

inquiry, query, question

Antonyms: Verb

ask, inquire, question

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Examples of comeback in a Sentence


The species was nearly extinct but is now making a comeback. Short skirts were out of fashion for many years, but now they're making a comeback. The team was trailing after the first half, but they made a comeback and won in the second half. The team mounted a comeback in the second half of the season.


she's slowly coming back after being in a coma the American bald eagle was once nearly extinct but has come back strong
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Smyczek rallied to 5-4 as Paul dealt with cramping, but Smyczek couldn’t complete the comeback, losing, 1-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4. Jeff Arnold, New York Times, "How a Missed Email Put One Player in Illinois Instead of Wimbledon," 11 July 2018 When Nacer Chadli finished off the Red Devils’ epic comeback with a stoppage-time winner, Japan fans at Rostov Arena again grabbed trash bags and cleaned the stadium while fighting back the disappointment of the heartbreaking loss. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Japan fans still stayed to clean the stadium after heartbreaking World Cup loss," 2 July 2018 But that didn't stop him, years later, from making a comeback in South Florida. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Catching up with the World Cup legends who shared a career's winter in Fort Lauderdale," 20 June 2018 Harding, known primarily for her involvement in an attack on fellow Olympian Nancy Kerrigan in 1994, has embarked on a comeback tour this year in the wake of the sympathetic biopic I, Tonya. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Tonya Harding Made It to the "Dancing With the Stars" Finale and Fans Are Livid," 15 May 2018 Biggest question: Is Robinson ready for a comeback season? Colleen Kane,, "Can an upgraded Bears receiving corps give the offense new life?," 12 July 2018 As evening arrived, there was more starry tennis, including matches with Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic, on the comeback road himself after a rocky patch. Jason Gay, WSJ, "My Manic Monday at Wimbledon," 9 July 2018 On the arduous comeback trail from major shoulder surgery last September, Nelson has yet to start throwing off a mound. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 10, Braves 3: Jesus Aguilar continues a torrid season with two homers and four RBI," 8 July 2018 Five-time champion Venus Williams did better with her comeback attempt. Mattias Karen, Houston Chronicle, "Serena Williams, Roger Federer cruise into 3rd round at Wimbledon," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'comeback.' 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 comeback


1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1860, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Statistics for comeback

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for comeback

The first known use of comeback was in 1860

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More Definitions for comeback



English Language Learners Definition of comeback

: a return to a former good position or condition

: a return to being popular or fashionable

: a new effort to win or succeed after being close to defeat or failure

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Comments on comeback

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