fall back


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fall back

1. To retreat or withdraw. I fell back when I noticed a gang of teenagers up ahead. Oh please, Grandpa is never one to fall back from his beliefs—you won't change his mind.
2. To recede or move away. The clouds are starting to fall back so that the sun can peek through.
3. To depend on someone or something that one has kept in reserve. In this usage, the phrase is usually "fall back on (someone or something)." With all of these medical bills, I just don't have any more money to fall back on. We can fall back on a few other babysitters if Jane can't make it.
See also: back, fall

fall back

to move back from something; to retreat from something. The gang members fell back, and I took that opportunity to get away. The troops fell back to regroup.
See also: back, fall

fall back

1. Give ground, retreat, as in The troops fell back before the relentless enemy assault, or He stuck to his argument, refusing to fall back. [c. 1600]
2. Recede, as in The waves fell back from the shore. [c. 1800]
See also: back, fall

fall back

v.
1. To give ground; retreat: After an unsuccessful attempt to retake the city, the soldiers fell back.
2. To recede: The waves fell back, leaving frothy white bubbles on the sand.
3. fall back on To use something as a substitute or backup: If we run out of cash, we will have to fall back on the money in our savings account.
4. fall back on To rely on someone or something for support: At least I can fall back on my friends in times of need.
See also: back, fall

fall back

on/upon
1. To rely on: fall back on old friends in time of need.
2. To resort to: I had to fall back on my savings when I was unemployed.
See also: back, fall
References in periodicals archive ?
"We talk to kids all the time about the importance of having something to fall back on, either academic or in a trade.
Two companies held their recent gains: De La Rue had a steady month rising just 2.5% with significant volumes of shares traded, while American Banknote Holographics initially continued to gain in high trading eventually breaking the $2.00 threshhold only to fall back and finish the month 2% down at $1.88.
"I was determined to tell the story through movement and not fall back on things that I had done before.
Lead researcher Ana Lopez told SINC that the objectives of the new study were: "To understand the factors linked to treatment outcomes, in order to help people get the right kind of treatment, reduce their chances of abandoning the treatment, ensure they stop using drugs and don't fall back into the habit".
She said: "I started modelling when I was younger but decided to take a step back to concentrate on my education for a little while and get something to fall back on.
For example, a coach who wishes to utilize the 2-2-1 full-court press (the # 2) and then fall back into a 1-3-1 half-court zone (the # 3) can do so with a simple and easy call--"23."
He likens the dust particles in the plume to baseballs lofted into the air in slow motion and taking as long as 2 days to fall back to the surface.
Around 19 per cent of people have no savings at all to fall back on, and 10 per cent say they don't bother to save because it is too much hassle to transfer money out of their current account.
ENERGY giant BP yesterday posted second quarter profits of almost pounds 2bn despite seeing oil prices fall back from levels seen in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Seeing the rout in progress, Rall began to order his men to fall back to an orchard at the southwest corner of town, but American bullets cut him down before his retreat could begin.
In order to do that, we had to fall back in some instances.
Every comic has shtick to fall back on, and this is Bernhard's, but she's sometimes able to mix it with more substance than she does here.
Three Thunder Bay high school students remain undecided about pursuing careers in business, but the trio has an award-winning business idea to fall back on if they ever change their minds.
In Federle's paintings, spirituality has become defensive for it has neither God (the icon), nature (Hodler), nor geometry (Mondrian) to fall back on, only its own faith in itself.
They said: "We know you want to write, but if you have your degree you will have something to fall back on" and that was what made my mind up