back down

(redirected from backed down)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

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 ?
So Schwarzenegger has now backed down at least twice.
On Thursday, the district backed down and agreed to have the board consider the case next month, but still intends to delegate responsibility in most future cases to Superintendent Roy Romer.
And it's believed Dewar backed down before Blair was forced to step in to the Cabinet committee row.
WHEN Los Angeles City Council members backed down last week on banning lap dances and adopted a sensible compromise to clean up the city's strip clubs, it raised the question as to why it didn't do that in the first place.
vvThere was a desperate finish to the 1m2f handicap at Yarmouth, where Monna Valley was backed down to 1.
And the district has backed down from requiring employees to sign the code because of concerns raised by the school administrators union.
Morning Herald had the race at her mercy and was backed down to 1.
That she finally backed down when pulled off the convention program and threaten with worse punishment shows how an overwrought response can intimidate even the party heroine who knocked off Bob Dornan.
In-running punters were pretty confident Frankie Dettori would find a gap on Foundation in the Racing Post Trophy as he was backed down to 1.
Helium looked sure to regain the lead from Be On Time approaching the finish of the 2m handicap chase at Worcester and he was backed down to 1.
Cigar never backed down during his record-tying 16-win streak, not from a muddy track in the Breeders' Cup Classic, not from a long trip to mysterious Dubai, not from 130-pound assignments and not from a bad post position in last month's race at Arlington International.
vvIt was a surprise to see Erupt backed down to even money in running on Betfair in the Prix Niel at Longchamp considering New Bay was always tanking along and only had to be shaken up to win easily.
William Carter, chief of staff of the NATO-led peace force in Bosnia, outlined the chain of events that ended Saturday evening when Bosnian Serb forces backed down and allowed a U.