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 for comeback

Synonyms: Noun

repartee, retort, riposte

Synonyms: Verb

convalesce, gain, heal, mend, pull round [chiefly British], rally, recoup, recover, recuperate, snap back

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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

And after the shooting last summer, which left Scalise in critical condition for months, his triumphant recovery presented a comeback story Republicans could get behind when picking their next leader. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Trump ally and super-conservative Jim Jordan is running for House speaker," 26 July 2018 Plus, Bella Hadid has been spotted in a shell suit or two, Kylie Jenner wore a neon version to Fashion Week…. This comeback story is getting harder and harder to ignore. Ana Colon, Glamour, "Eighties-Style Shell Suits Are Here to Replace Your Track Pant Obsession," 17 July 2018 This is going to prove itself to be probably one of the biggest comeback stories ever in Nasdaq. Rebecca Lurye,, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 Judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Mel B add flair and personality to each episode, but the show's unique acts and feel-good comeback stories are what keep audiences watching and voting year after year. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Contestants Spill All the Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of the Show," 10 July 2018 The game, again, will be filled with feel-good and comeback stories that captivate our attention. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "MLB All-Star Game: Yes, Bryce Harper deserves to be there — because it's all about enjoyment," 8 July 2018 Indeed, that would be best for all: For suitors in search of rotation depth. For the Padres, who signed him to a $1.75 million minor league deal in hopes of a comeback story yielding trade value for their youth movement. Jeff Sanders,, "Ross hit hard as Pirates beat Padres," 2 July 2018 Despite his departure, James’s recent tenure in Cleveland remains a comeback story for the ages — in a literal sense. Marc Stein, New York Times, "LeBron James Joining Lakers on 4-Year $154 Million Deal," 1 July 2018 Gattis has been the comeback story of the season for the Astros. Hunter Atkins, Houston Chronicle, "Evan Gattis sets Astros record for RBIs in June," 27 June 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

10 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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More from Merriam-Webster on comeback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with comeback

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for comeback

Spanish Central: Translation of comeback

Nglish: Translation of comeback for Spanish Speakers

Comments on comeback

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having a pattern of small flowers

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