Definition of one step forward and two steps back in English:

one step forward and two steps back

phrase

  • Used to describe a situation in which any progress made is counterbalanced by much greater setbacks.

    ‘with corporate reform it is a case of one step forward and two steps back’
    • ‘It will take time but as soldiers we understand sometimes you take one step forward and two steps back.’
    • ‘Nothing worked, and we spent two decades taking one step forward and two steps back.’
    • ‘Until the last few weeks I thought things had got better but it seems we take one step forward and two steps back.’
    • ‘Whenever you're developing a particular area of your game, sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back.’
    • ‘Each day, football goes one step forward and two steps back because of football officials who disregard the basic rules of the game.’
    • ‘This isn't always the case but it is wise to remember that tweaking hi-fi can sometimes be a case of one step forward and two steps back.’
    • ‘It really seems like one step forward and two steps back in looking at our past efforts.’
    • ‘His recent promotion represents progress for a sport that too often takes one step forward and two steps back.’