back off


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back off

1. noun Go away! Stop bothering me! Back off! I told you I'm not going to the dance, and that's it! You need to back off, buddy. I've told you I'm not interested.
2. verb To retreat on a particular idea or course of action. Your aggressive approach is starting to annoy people—you need to back off a bit. Management seems to be backing off that initiative, at least for now.
3. verb To cause someone to retreat on a particular idea or course of action. In this usage, a noun is used between "back" and "off." Can you please back your minions off? They're harassing me.
4. verb To move backward away from something. Back off that other runner so you don't collide with her.
5. verb To move backward past the edge of something. If he's not careful, he's going to back off that narrow step.
See also: back, off

back someone or something off (from something)

to guide or move someone or something a short distance from something. I backed the car off from the curb a tiny bit. Using signals, I backed the car off from the crushed bicycle.
See also: back, off

back off

(from someone or something) Go to back away (from someone or something).
See also: back, off

back off

1. See back down, def. 2.
2. Relent, abandon one's stand. For example, The chairman wanted to sell one division but later backed off. [Mid-1900s]
See also: back, off

back off

v.
1. To move backward so that one is farther away from someone or something: Back off the car ahead of you: you're driving too close to it. The dog growled at me when I approached, so I backed off.
2. To move something backward beyond the edge of something: He accidentally backed the truck off the ledge and broke an axle.
3. To decrease the intensity or amount of something: I think I should back off the desserts for a little while so I can lose some weight.
4. To decide not to continue doing something or supporting an idea: You've made up your mind, so don't back off your idea now! Just before they were about to sign the papers to buy the new house, they got nervous and backed off.
5. To stop intimidating, threatening, or pressuring someone: Even as I left the store, the salesman wouldn't back off me. Whenever anyone bothers me, I just tell them to back off.
6. To cause someone or something to stop intimidating, threatening or pressuring: The angry dogs were barking at the poor kid, so I waved a stick and backed them off.
See also: back, off

back off, to

To retreat from a position, or yield; leave someone or something alone. For example, “When Jane learned about the required deposit, she backed off from the deal.” Or, “Mom thought Dad had punished the boys enough and told him to back off.” This usage dates from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: back
References in periodicals archive ?
If it goes nowhere, we back off. And at no time do we push our clients into anything they don't want to do.
One method is the selection of back off values from a different spectrum that has average back off values that are smaller than the back off values specified by the DCF in 802.11.
Everton struck the woodwork again as Barkley's low left-footed shot came back off the inside of the post.
Jones's mis-hit cross beat Gulacsi but came back off the crossbar before Hereford scored with their first shot on target in the 79th minute when Diagouraga rose in the box to nod home from a corner.
Others suggest that the central bank should further raise short-term rates as means of sending labor a message to back off excessive wage demands.
"There is a willingness in today's environment to basically back off, let the fire increase in size if there isn't a firefighter safety issue," David Olson, Boise National Forest spokesman, told The Idaho Statesman.
However, despite these losses and plans to close 14 plants in the United States, Ford has stubbornly refused to back off its financial support for homosexual groups that has alienated many of the company's loyal customers.
If you begin to tire, you can adjust your speed by shortening your stride and coming back off from the lean a bit.
The 'back off plate', developed by Dr Brian Clifford, from Aberystwyth, aims to prevent motorists from unintentionally tailgating.
Sara's efforts help her overcome her grief, but also threaten her career as an angry female warns her that if she fails to back off she will lose her hands.
"Phil Clapham had the good sense to back off when the gun was pointed at him and somebody shouted the order to shoot to kill.
headquarters in Santa Fe, customs agents searched the home of the group's president, seizing 30 gallons of the tea and triggering a lawsuit that may force the government to back off.
Iceland has reportedly decided to back off from its plans to kill hundreds of whales over a two-year period.