Definition of back out in US English:

back out

phrasal verb

  • Withdraw from a commitment.

    ‘if he backs out of the deal they'll sue him’
    • ‘Well, many legal experts speculated that when the civil suit was filed, that that might be a sign that she was backing out.’
    • ‘So I went to the Marine recruiting station with two of my cousins who both backed out.’
    • ‘I wasn't going to let her get away with backing out of the trip.’
    • ‘Subsequently, as many as three contractors who took up the project also backed out after doing only a part of the work.’
    • ‘Plans are all very loose at the moment and I think my co-organisers might be backing out, but I don't mind.’
    • ‘Originally a trio called Cub, the brave lads backed out on the verge of being signed.’
    • ‘But I'm still in bed, feeling only a few degrees above death, and feeling bad about backing out.’
    • ‘When one of these countries wants to talk peace, the other backs out.’
    • ‘But I wanted to take this up as a challenge; it was such an exciting offer that I just couldn't think of backing out.’
    • ‘He then backed out of plans to return to star in an Edmonton production of Romeo and Juliet.’
    • ‘The company had been a tentative sponsor of the first marathon before backing out.’
    • ‘I've made a public announcement about it now and there's no backing out.’
    • ‘He never backed out of anything or shied away from any opponent, and he was prepared to put his career on the line every time he fought.’
    • ‘She backed out of that role in order to instead play Anne Frank on Broadway.’
    • ‘The excitement would die down soon enough, and the school would retreat back out of the public eye.’
    • ‘No one wants to absorb the cost if someone in a group backs out.’
    • ‘No doubt my constant backing out of doing stuff has earned me a reputation among my friends for being an unreliable flake.’
    • ‘A few years ago he was asked to be on a TV show, but backed out at the last minute because he felt weird.’
    • ‘The doctor backed out of his contractual responsibility to provide out of hours care for his patients.’
    • ‘You can accuse him of many things - we'll get to that later - but you can't accuse him of backing out of a challenge.’
    renege on, go back on, withdraw from, pull out of, retreat from, fail to honour, abandon, default on, repudiate
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