Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
take something back (from someone)
to take possession of something that one had previously given away. I took my sweater back from Tim, since he never wore it. I took back my money from the child.
take something back
to retract a statement; to rescind one's remark. You had better take back what you said about my sister. I won't take what I said back! She's a twit!
1. Retract a statement, as in I said you weren't much of a cook but after that dinner I take it all back. This usage was first recorded in 1775.
2. take one back. Return in thought to a past time, as in That music takes me back to the first dance I ever went to. [Late 1800s]
1. To retrieve and regain possession of something: I had to take back my jacket from your closet because I need to wear it. I took my book back because I forgot that I had written some notes in the margins. The store won't take back clothing if it has been worn.
2. To return something to some location: I took the book back to the library. The toaster I bought didn't work, so I had to take it back.
3. To cause someone to return in thought to a past time: That old song sure takes me back. The smell of the ocean takes me back to our first trip to the beach.
4. To retract something stated, written, or done: What a terrible thing to say—I demand that you take it back. After your bad behavior, I take back all the nice things I said about you. I wish I could take back my embarrassing performance.