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 ?
Though scientists right and left are backpedaling from predictions of a "greenhouse effect" raising global temperatures, the Clinton administration has yet to repudiate its desire for the U.
The receiver's eyes will be focused on the coach, who will then give the signal for the receiver to start backpedaling.
He powered in for back-to-back dunks early in the second quarter and nearly fell backwards as he stared at Abdul-Jabbar while backpedaling upcourt.
The outfielders have priority over the infielders on pop-ups between them because it is easier coming in on a fly ball than catching one while backpedaling.
Meanwhile, Bobby announces he's leaving the firm he created - ``I need to leave before I become wreckage,'' he explains - a move which will require heavy backpedaling should the show return.
Dodgers' Guillermo Mota, making first pitch to Mets' Mike Piazza in regular season, is called for a balk after attempting to make delivery while backpedaling.
Mota threw his glove at Piazza and then began backpedaling behind the pitcher's mound, then toward first base and into the Dodgers dugout.
While Kona Gold was backpedaling down the stretch, 6-year-old Avanzado was drawing away from his five rivals, winning by 4 1/2 lengths over fast-closing Mellow Fellow in a sizzling time of 1:07.
Then, with the Antelopes trailing 17-0 two possessions later, Walker was intercepted on an ill-advised pass thrown as he was backpedaling that sailed into a pack of Hart defenders.
On the second goal, at 10:43 of the second period, Norstrom was backpedaling along the boards just inside the blue line, waiting for the puck to reach him.
Because despite some recent backpedaling over giving public funds to so-called faith-based charities, presidential courtiers remain convinced - at least in public - that God's helpers can effectively cure social ills with everybody's money.
Former state Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa, who is a candidate for mayor, criticized the Svorinich-Bernson proposal as backpedaling on the consent decree.
On a Greg Vanney corner kick, Mathis was backpedaling as Vanney's corner was knocked to the top of the penalty area.
The few times the Packers appeared close to making it a game, they spent more time backpedaling, creating their own chaos.