Definition of back off in US English:

back off

phrasal verb

  • 1Draw back from action or confrontation.

    ‘they backed off from fundamental reform of the system’
    • ‘Employers are backing off from commitments to health and retirement benefits.’
    • ‘It is clear that some unions have backed off from any major confrontations.’
    • ‘People don't do that and instead they start getting lawyers and backing off and saying I won't talk to the cops.’
    • ‘Unwilling to jeopardize her marriage, Anna backed off from competing for a couple of years.’
    • ‘There are people who think we maybe we are doing way too much and we should be backing off.’
    • ‘The leader of the union has consistently backed off from any confrontation with the government.’
    • ‘If he backs off now, the limited respect he has gained already could contract to a negative footnote.’
    • ‘UP to 20,000 jobs are in danger of being lost in the construction sector in the months ahead if the Government backs off on the plan, an industry source warned last night.’
    • ‘She backs off until Sam does something that convinces her he still needs her.’
    • ‘The newspapers have even backed off from reporting the stories, as they once were doing.’
    • ‘‘We had to take a few more risks there today in the foggy conditions, and maybe the others were backing off. ‘he said.’’
    • ‘If everyone just backs off a little, shows some patience, and endeavors to listen and learn from others, maybe some purpose greater than self-congratulation will ensue.’
    • ‘It looks like the leadership is slowly backing off from a confrontation.’
    • ‘He never backs off and has good credentials.’
    • ‘Despite widespread international condemnation, the government shows no signs of backing off.’
    • ‘He was strong and dependable and never backed off from a fight.’
    • ‘The average male is intimidated by my intelligence and strength of personality, and backs off, but I'm not interested in the average male, after all.’
    • ‘I'm curious now, with war so close, are his critics backing off a little bit?’
    • ‘But, quite rightly, the union refused to back off until the company withdrew its plan in its entirety.’
    • ‘The brothers never backed off from a challenge.’
    draw back, step back, move away, back off, retreat, withdraw, pull back, give ground
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    1. 1.1North American Withdraw a claim or assertion in the face of opposition.
      ‘she has backed off on her earlier threat to shut down operations’
      • ‘So, are Republican congressional leaders backing off?’
      • ‘I just received word that the union is backing off.’
      • ‘The key liberal interest groups aren't backing off.’
      • ‘The White House spokesman rejected suggestions Wednesday that the president was backing off.’
      • ‘After that, they seemed to be backing off a little bit.’
      • ‘She isn't really backing off; she says that her remarks were ‘off the cuff,’ but hasn't disavowed them.’
      retreat, withdraw, pull back, fall back, pull out, disengage, give way, give ground, flee, take flight, turn tail, beat a retreat, beat a hasty retreat
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