turn back

verb
turned back; turning back; turns back

Definition of turn back

intransitive verb

1a : to go in the reverse direction
b : to stop going forward
2 : to refer to an earlier time or place

transitive verb

1 : to drive back or away
2 : to stop the advance of
3 : to fold back
turn back the clock
: to revert to or remind of a condition existing in the past

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Examples of turn back in a Sentence

a cavalry charge that was turned back by withering fire
Recent Examples on the Web Some lawmakers made impassioned pleas to turn back the bill. Juan Forero, WSJ, "Argentina Makes Abortion Legal in Landmark Vote," 30 Dec. 2020 And Los Angeles County reported its deadliest day yet during the pandemic Wednesday — a dire development officials consider an alarming harbinger of even darker days ahead unless everyone takes steps to turn back the tidal wave of new infections. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Christmas shopping amid a surge," 23 Dec. 2020 Biden's efforts to turn back the approach of his predecessor go far beyond the legalization proposal, which requires congressional approval. Star Tribune, "Finally, a priority: immigration reform," 23 Jan. 2021 Erin Bromage, an immunologist at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, advised the governor of Rhode Island, as well as schools in southern Massachusetts, on preventive measures needed to turn back the coronavirus. New York Times, "What Does a More Contagious Virus Mean for Schools?," 14 Jan. 2021 Trump was getting more frantic in his efforts to turn back his own election results. Anchorage Daily News, "How Trump’s single-minded focus on election fraud cost Republicans in Georgia," 10 Jan. 2021 The Raptors cut the advantage to 121-115 with 35 seconds left but Chris Paul made two free throws to turn back the rally. David Brandt, Star Tribune, "Suns drain 21 3-pointers, beat Raptors 123-115," 6 Jan. 2021 Fitzpatrick intercepted a pass by Jacksonville quarterback Jake Luton at the Pittsburgh 2-yard line to turn back the Jaguars with the Steelers leading 10-3. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama NFL roundup: Minkah Fitzpatrick helps Pittsburgh stay perfect," 23 Nov. 2020 Yet the suggestion that Biden could simply turn back the clock and rejoin the 2015 deal without demanding changes ignores developments since that time. Arsalan Shahla, Bloomberg.com, "Iran’s Foreign Minister Strikes Conciliatory Tone on U.S.," 18 Nov. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for turn back

Time Traveler

The first known use of turn back was in the 15th century

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Statistics for turn back

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Turn back.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turn%20back. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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