double back

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double back

To return to some thing or place after moving away from it, especially by following the same path taken when leaving. I was walking to my car when I realized I'd forgotten my lunch on the kitchen counter and doubled back to get it.
See also: back, double

double back (on someone or something)

[for a person or animal] to reverse motion, moving toward (rather than away from) someone or something. (Refers primarily to a person or animal that is being pursued by someone or a group.) The deer doubled back on the hunter. The robber doubled back on the police, and they lost track of him. I doubled back on my own trail.
See also: back, double

double back

Reverse one's course, go back the way one has come. For example, The officer lost the suspect, who had doubled back on him. This term, at first put simply as to double, is used largely to describe a way of evading pursuit. [Late 1500s]
See also: back, double

double back

v.
1. To turn around and move back in the opposite direction: Since we got lost, we'll need to double back and start over.
2. To turn sharply or reverse course completely, as of a path: The road doubles back, following the course of the river. The trail up the mountain doubles back on itself several times.
See also: back, double
References in classic literature ?
But his pursuers forestalling him, he doubled back across the cabin, passed over the galley, and gained the deck by means of the steerage- scuttle.
We bore away nearly horizontally for about four hundred feet, then ascended directly toward the summit for about sixty feet, then doubled back to the ridge which descends toward Zermatt.
She knew from their route that they must have doubled back several times although she had quite lost all sense of direction; but she did not know that the prince was as equally confused as she, and that really he was running in an aimless, erratic manner, hoping that he might stumble eventually upon a place of refuge.
Now a corridor turned gradually and almost imperceptibly in a new direction, again one doubled back upon and crossed itself; here the floor rose gradually to the level of another story, or again there might be a spiral stairway down which the mad prince rushed dizzily with his burden.
I went straight out in the country as much as a mile before I stopped; then I doubled back through the woods towards Phelps'.
I ventured the ground again, doubled back, and crossed a wide open space, with the whole band grunting, bristling, and tusk-gnashing at my heels.
Francois called to him a quarter of a mile away and he doubled back, still one leap ahead, gasping painfully for air and putting all his faith in that Francois would save him.
In his pocket was found a copy of Keats's poems doubled back, as if he had been reading to the last moment and hastily thrust the book into his pocket.
Sometimes it was from the South that he came - from south of Tuticorin, whence the wonderful fire-boats go to Ceylon where are priests who know Pali; sometimes it was from the wet green West and the thousand cotton-factory chimneys that ring Bombay; and once from the North, where he had doubled back eight hundred miles to talk for a day with the Keeper of the Images in the Wonder House.
uk A MOTORIST who doubled back to check on a pedestrian she spotted walking on a dual carriageway arrived seconds after he had been hit by another vehicle.
At first, the trucks drove off in a different direction from the gas chambers and crematoria, but as they doubled back toward the killing factories, the Gypsies began to struggle and fight the guards.
Teacher Mr Walker raised more than pounds 60 with the longest line of silver coins, which doubled back over the width of the sports hall.
They came off the A2 near Arisdorf, doubled back, but took a wrong turn and ended up in Basel city centre.
5 : to turn sharply and go back over the same path <The squirrel doubled back instead of crossing the street.
Police say the offender fled across fields but is believed to have doubled back and possibly got into a taxi at the Stratford Manor Hotel which took him to the Holiday Express at Longbridge.