turn back

verb
Updated on: 9 May 2018

Definition of turn back

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

Examples of turn back in a Sentence

  1. a cavalry charge that was turned back by withering fire

Recent Examples of turn back from the Web

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.

First Known Use of turn back

15th century

in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

turn back Synonyms


Learn More about turn back


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up turn back? 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

good-natured ridicule

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!