row back

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row back

To quickly or abruptly reverse or retreat from one's earlier position, decision, or opinion. Primarily heard in UK. The actor had to row back when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference. The government is rowing back on the decision to increase water charges after nationwide protests erupted on Friday.
See also: back, row
References in periodicals archive ?
I was 11 and, like all the other boys, sat on the stone kerb while my dad watched from the terraces a few rows back.
I was aged 11 and like all the other boys sat on the stone kerb while my dad watched from the terraces a few rows back.
One Twitter user wrote: "Looked behind me at Anfield earlier and @JohnLithgow was a few rows back.
The crying baby two rows back won't bother you a bit.
She was maybe four rows back, which was enough to catch a few people.
It should be filmed on a helmet cam, from 347 rows back behind a seven-foot tall man with his wife on his shoulders who sings the wrong words to every song the band play.
Law stood a few rows back into the seats and drained a hoop from 109 feet, 9 inches at U.
We spoke to him about hitting sixes, telling him not to try and hit them 40 rows back.
Mark O'Brien is only 18 and he will learn from it, the next time he will put the ball 20 rows back in the stand.
Clermont (pictured on the right six rows back on boat 3 above) said he was introduced to the sport while in law school at the University of Pittsburgh.
We feel certain Brenda is right about the person three rows back, fifth from the left.
Mum-of-two Barbara McGookin paid for two pounds 46 fifth-row tickets but has been moved 23 rows back.
He was talking about a medical procedure involving an injection into the testicle of a Sardinian boy, to prevent his children from developing anaemia, when a man six rows back from the stage fainted.
Or that "Negroes" were never allowed to sit at the front of the bus, only in the "colored" section several rows back, and even then they could be expelled if a white passenger simply requested their seat.
With four days to go they contacted us saying that they shouldn't have sold us the tickets and we had to move to row G, about 50 rows back.