Definition of row back in US English:

row back

phrasal verb

  • Reverse an earlier decision or previously held opinion; backtrack.

    ‘he rowed back on his comments the following day’
    ‘if the government attempts to row back from its commitments, disaster will result’
    • ‘Later in the week he attempted to row back.’
    • ‘He has rowed back on criticism he made of the manner in which orthodontic assessment clinics are held in Sligo.’
    • ‘Both companies have rowed back on plans for the roll-out of digital television services in Ireland.’
    • ‘He has rowed back on some of the promises that once brought the progressives' loudest cheers.’
    • ‘He subsequently tried to row back on his very public remarks to the Los Angeles Times, which still can be read on their website.’
    • ‘The company has now completed the U-turn in its strategy which has seen it rowing back from its grand plans to become a multinational multi-utility.’
    • ‘That is why Downing Street was forced to row back on an early reaction to the deal.’
    • ‘Having thankfully rowed back on the plan to re-introduce third level fees, he has announced a package of E42 million for educational disadvantage.’
    • ‘Police forces, rather than wanting to row back from the controversy surrounding the use of DNA evidence, increasingly rely on the technique.’
    • ‘Afterwards, in the BBC's Green Room, she apparently rowed back on the threats issued to the corporation.’
    • ‘The group appears to have rowed back on its plans to open an outlet in Ireland.’
    • ‘At a hastily arranged briefing in Brussels, the document's authors appeared to row back.’
    • ‘He has welcomed its decision to row back on its plan to transmit all future sports commentaries exclusively on FM.’
    • ‘The Government has rowed back on plans to extend a successful prison rehabilitation project into all jails, according to a leading criminal expert.’
    • ‘There can be no rowing back on that commitment.’
    • ‘I'm very disappointed that he is thinking of rowing back on the Children Act.’
    • ‘Yesterday he seemed to be rowing back from his previous night's attacks on capitalist greed.’
    • ‘The Minister for Finance is under growing pressure from party members to row back on plans to abolish the first-time buyers grant for housebuyers.’
    • ‘The Government has rowed back on the Freedom of Information Act.’
    • ‘He said: "Now is not the time to row back on our renewable energy targets."’
    change one's mind, change one's opinion, go into reverse, do an about-face, do a u-turn, shift one's ground, sing a different song, have second thoughts, reconsider, climb down
    renege on, back down on, go back on, back out of, fail to honour, withdraw, backtrack on, row back on, take back, abandon, default on
    View synonyms