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’
    • ‘The company had been a tentative sponsor of the first marathon before backing out.’
    • ‘He then backed out of plans to return to star in an Edmonton production of Romeo and Juliet.’
    • ‘The doctor backed out of his contractual responsibility to provide out of hours care for his patients.’
    • ‘Subsequently, as many as three contractors who took up the project also backed out after doing only a part of the work.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No one wants to absorb the cost if someone in a group backs out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I wasn't going to let her get away with backing out of the trip.’
    • ‘So I went to the Marine recruiting station with two of my cousins who both backed out.’
    • ‘When one of these countries wants to talk peace, the other backs out.’
    • ‘But I'm still in bed, feeling only a few degrees above death, and feeling bad about backing out.’
    • ‘Originally a trio called Cub, the brave lads backed out on the verge of being signed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A few years ago he was asked to be on a TV show, but backed out at the last minute because he felt weird.’
    • ‘Plans are all very loose at the moment and I think my co-organisers might be backing out, but I don't mind.’
    • ‘Well, many legal experts speculated that when the civil suit was filed, that that might be a sign that she was backing out.’
    • ‘No doubt my constant backing out of doing stuff has earned me a reputation among my friends for being an unreliable flake.’
    • ‘I've made a public announcement about it now and there's no backing out.’
    • ‘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.’
    renege on, go back on, withdraw from, pull out of, retreat from, fail to honour, abandon, default on, repudiate
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