come back(redirected from a come-back)
1. verb To return to someone or something (often a place or situation). We're coming back from our vacation on Tuesday. Our dog Sparky was missing for days, but he came back home last night, thank goodness. I'd like to come back to a point you made earlier.
2. verb A call for someone or an animal to return to one. Sparky, come back!
3. verb To return to one's memory. The name of the song will come back to me, just give me a minute. OK, it's all coming back to me now—you were sitting over there, and you definitely asked that question.
4. verb To reply to something, often in a snarky or irritable way. I don't like Mary that much. Whenever I talk to her, she always manages to come back with something insulting. When you asked him about tomorrow's meeting, what did he come back with?
5. verb To return to a former state of functionality, popularity, success, etc. Oh, that's a career-ending knee injury for sure—there's no way he's coming back from that. I bought bell-bottoms because '70s fashions are coming back in style.
6. verb To overcome a deficit in a sport, game, or contest. After being down five goals, they came back and tied the game.
7. noun The overcoming of a deficit in a sport, game, or contest. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. After being down five goals, they made a huge comeback and tied the game.
8. noun A return to someone or something's former state of functionality, popularity, success, etc. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. Oh, that's a career-ending knee injury for sure—there's no way he'll make a comeback from that. I bought bell-bottoms because '70s fashions are making a real comeback.
9. noun A rejoinder, often one that is (or tries to be) clever or snarky. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. "Your mom" is the lamest comeback you could possibly use.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
come back (to someone or something)
to return to someone or something. Please come back to me. I'm lonely. Come back to your home!
(to someone) [for a memory] to return to someone's consciousness. Everything you said suddenly came back to me. All the old memories came back to me and made me feel very sad.
to return; to return to an advantageous or favorable state or condition. Walter practiced every day, hoping to come back from his injury. When will the good old days come back?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Return to or regain past success or popularity, as in It's hard to come back from two sets down and win the match, or Long hemlines are coming back this fall. [Early 1900s]
2. Return to one's mind, as in Her name came back to me after I saw her picture. [Late 1800s]
3. Retort or reply; also, retaliate. For example, No matter how many insults he flings, I can always come back with another. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To return to some place: I came back to Montana last year. I hope my dog comes back.
2. To become present again: That unpleasant feeling came back to me when I found out they were lying again.
3. To begin to be remembered; recur to the memory: What happened last night is coming back to me now.
4. To return to or regain past success after a period of misfortune: After years of living in obscurity, the rock singer came back more popular than ever.
5. come back with To retort; reply: She came back with a clever answer that subtly insulted him.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.