back down

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back down

To retreat from a particular idea or course of action, often in a conflict. I refuse to back down—this law must be passed, in the interest of public safety. The bully backed down after all of my friends came with me to confront him.
See also: back, down

back down (something)

to go down something backwards, such as a ladder or inclined driveway. Harry backed down the ladder safely. Looking behind him, he backed down slowly.
See also: back, down

back down

(from someone or something) to yield to a person or a thing; to fail to carry through on a threat. Jane backed down from her position on the budget. It's probably better to back down from this situation; looks like you are at a disadvantage.
See also: back, down

back down

(on something) to lessen or drop an earlier rigid position on something; to yield something in an argument. She backed down on her demands. In the end, she backed down.
See also: back, down

back down

1. Reverse one's upward course, descend. For example, When she saw the wasps' nest on the roof, she hastily backed down the ladder. This literal usage usually refers to something one has climbed, such as a ladder or mountain. [Mid-1800s]
2. Also, back off. Retreat or yield. For example, As the watchdog began to snarl the letter carrier backed off, or You have a good point; now don't back down when you present it to the board. [First half of 1900s] Also see back away, def. 2.
See also: back, down

back down

v.
1. To move backward through some region, especially in a vehicle: We backed down the driveway.
2. To cause something, especially a vehicle, to move backward through some region or space: I slowly backed the truck down the hill.
3. To withdraw from a position or confrontation, especially due to intimidation: The smaller bear kept growling so loudly that the larger bear backed down and walked away. Even though they appeared to have a very strong argument against me, I wouldn't back down, and I eventually showed them their conclusions were wrong.
See also: back, down
References in periodicals archive ?
The power generator pointed out that the regulation pertaining to methodology of working out generation loss due to backing down was silent.
He said: ``It is not a case of backing down. It is a case of exploring every avenue before going down the route to court.
The snowball theorists are backing down on their earlier view that the water cycle shut down completely in the Neoproterozoic period, Allen argues.
So far legal action has been only threatened, but Youngman says he's not backing down. Calls to attorney
It's chicken and egg and sadly, no one is backing down.
We're not backing down on it, but I guess we're more subtle about what we do." He referred to Rose Sunday and its financial collection as sufficient for the Canadian Knights' contribution to the pro-life cause.
Yet, in the end, it was another intrinsic part of Kovach's personality--his difficulty in backing down from a fight--which was the proximate cause of his resignation, which came about in a November 1988 confrontation with Publisher Jay Smith over a minor dispute involving the paper's Washington bureau.