back down


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back down

To retreat from a particular idea or course of action, often in a conflict. I refuse to back down—this law must be passed, in the interest of public safety. The bully backed down after all of my friends came with me to confront him.
See also: back, down

back down (something)

to go down something backwards, such as a ladder or inclined driveway. Harry backed down the ladder safely. Looking behind him, he backed down slowly.
See also: back, down

back down

(from someone or something) to yield to a person or a thing; to fail to carry through on a threat. Jane backed down from her position on the budget. It's probably better to back down from this situation; looks like you are at a disadvantage.
See also: back, down

back down

(on something) to lessen or drop an earlier rigid position on something; to yield something in an argument. She backed down on her demands. In the end, she backed down.
See also: back, down

back down

1. Reverse one's upward course, descend. For example, When she saw the wasps' nest on the roof, she hastily backed down the ladder. This literal usage usually refers to something one has climbed, such as a ladder or mountain. [Mid-1800s]
2. Also, back off. Retreat or yield. For example, As the watchdog began to snarl the letter carrier backed off, or You have a good point; now don't back down when you present it to the board. [First half of 1900s] Also see back away, def. 2.
See also: back, down

back down

v.
1. To move backward through some region, especially in a vehicle: We backed down the driveway.
2. To cause something, especially a vehicle, to move backward through some region or space: I slowly backed the truck down the hill.
3. To withdraw from a position or confrontation, especially due to intimidation: The smaller bear kept growling so loudly that the larger bear backed down and walked away. Even though they appeared to have a very strong argument against me, I wouldn't back down, and I eventually showed them their conclusions were wrong.
See also: back, down
References in periodicals archive ?
British Airways will not back down in the year-long cabin crew dispute and is ready to run a near-full service in the event of another strike, the airline's chief executive, Willie Walsh, has said.
You do a forward somersault in the air, push the kayak, do a front flip and come back down flat in the water," Emily explains.
Throw enough mud and some of it sticks, well throw enough proposed changes of service, dilute the opposition, and you can temporarily back down on a high profile change, and sneak the others through the back door.
Even then, Cassie doesn't back down, but tracks the thugs to their hideout and ultimately learns the truth behind all that has gone on.
Marie, up to Wawa, across through Chapleau, down into Timmins and then back down to spend some time in Temagami.
Even if the market goes back down by $50 or $60, this is still the kind of market that will be talked about for the next 20 years or so.
One year after massive demonstrations forced Beijing to back down on imposing harsh "anti-subversion" legislation, Hong Kong demonstrators again took to the streets on July 1 to protest Beijing's heavy-handed rule.
Guwahati -- In Guwahati state, the president of India's episcopate vows the Church will not back down in the face of intimidation by Hindu extremists.
Forecasters expected the temperature to hit 92 in Eugene on Thursday, with the highs gradually working their way back down into the high 70s on Sunday.
Nonetheless, in a rare show of defiance, the Nagoya District Court refused to back down in the face of the ministry's intransigence, and in October 2001 again told the government that MK's free taxi plan was legal.
If the hill is too long, the recovery coming back down will be too long.
Hold for 1-2 hr and allow the temperature to drift back down to the normal operating temperature.
In light of such obstacles, Scheffer can be seen as a victim of daunting circumstances and the ambivalence of an administration that has made brave proclamations on human rights issues (think Rwanda, East Timor, or Sierra Leone), only to back down at the first sign of opposition.
St Mirren star Ricky Gillies knows everyone expects them to go straight back down but that sort of talk is banned from the Love Street dressing-room.