turn back

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

The two took off on a flight to meant to check the aircraft, but the engine again began to run rough and was at about 400 feet and turning back to the airport when the engine quit completely. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Small plane that crashed at Boca Raton airport had just been checked by pilot, mechanic, crash report says," 17 Sep. 2019 Dublin-Daly City trains are traveling to Montgomery and turning back to Dublin for service to East Bay. George Kelly, The Mercury News, "S.F. BART station reopens after fatal train strike," 12 Sep. 2019 The family had been caught and turned back the night before. Justice Amick, Indianapolis Star, "'Driven by desperation': Fleeing hunger and despair in Mexico to a new life as a Hoosier," 22 Aug. 2019 The smartphone era had arrived, and there was no turning back. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "10 incredibly useful things you didn’t know your iPhone can do," 15 Aug. 2019 With Zidane back in charge and the Galactico tap turned back on, the policy of youth has been shelved for 'today' solutions ahead of 2019/20. SI.com, "La Liga Season Preview 2019/20: Title Contenders, European Hopefuls, Promoted Sides & More," 14 Aug. 2019 As power was restored to portions of Manhattan, tweets chronicled the moment the lights turned back on. oregonlive, "Blackout NYC 2019: Scenes from power outage on anniversary of 1977 blackout," 13 July 2019 Police earlier Thursday turned back an attempt by the crowd to storm the building, then pushed back another surge about two hours later. chicagotribune.com, "Thousands of protesters try to storm Georgian parliament," 20 June 2019 The incident was reported about 5:35 p.m. Trains were turning back at Hayward and Union City. Sarah Ravani, SFChronicle.com, "South Hayward BART station reopened after nearby fire," 16 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for turn back

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for turn back

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for turn back

Comments on turn back

What made you want to look up turn back? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


involving a confidence or trust

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