backpedal

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backpedal

To quickly and often abruptly reverse or retreat from one's position or opinion on a given subject. Refers to pedaling backwards on a bicycle (done to apply the brakes on fixed-gear bikes), or to taking quick, backward steps, as in football or boxing. The actor had to backpedal when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference.
References in periodicals archive ?
But officials backpedaled Monday, saying it would be up to six weeks before the autopsy results are final.
Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) tagged a new annual high this morning, but has since backpedaled to a loss of 0.
He backpedaled fast and swore it was a word slip, did profuse mea culpas, and furiously waved his credentials as a staunch fighter for immigrant rights, affirmative action and multiculturalism.
The shares have backpedaled under pressure from their 10-day and 20-day moving averages since November.
Republicans backpedaled and offered a compromise that would allow illegal immigrant children already in elementary school to stay and those in seventh grade or higher to graduate from high school.
The shares have backpedaled since late February under resistance from their 10-day and 20-day moving averages, shedding more than 23 percent.
Johnson and Broder quote a close observer: ``It is a story of compromises that never happened, deals that never closed, Republicans, moderate Democrats and key interest groups that backpedaled from proposals they had earlier endorsed.
While we're on the topic of same-store sales, McDonald's had backpedaled by more than three percent after releasing February same-store sales that increased just 1.
The airplay that I used to get wasn't there, so I kind of backpedaled on the writing.
Meanwhile, the shares backpedaled about 22 percent since their January highs.
It's been a rough day for BEA Systems (Nasdaq:BEAS) as it has backpedaled more than 22 percent after reporting first-quarter results last night.