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. As the tide fell back, it revealed the brilliant white sand of the beach.
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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
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.

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Drilling for oil and gas wells fell back in April to a very low level.
Meanwhile, the multifamily side of the market fell back from its improved level of the previous two months, signaling that a sustained upturn for this over-built category had yet to arrive.
Then, by mid-February, some PP producers rescinded that increase, and prices fell back to December levels."
USD-JPY fell back to levels around 107.80 after posting an eight-day high at 108.16 during the Tokyo session.
The positive balance of small firms reporting increasing profitability fell back to 1%.
Consumers' confidence in their finances fell back from its highest levels in four years in December as Christmas put a squeeze put on people's budgets, a report has found.
NEW YORK - The Dow Jones index fell back Monday, snapping its two-day rising streak, on renewed fears about the European economy triggered by the downgrading of Greek government bonds.
Summary: Inflation fell back from 17-month highs in May despite petrol prices reaching record levels.
The Hessian regiments under Rail and Lossberg tried to advance on Hamilton's position, but they broke and fell back in disarray as shot from the American artillery tore through their lines.
The Reuters Eurozone PMI fell back to 50.8 in August, down from 51.6 per cent in July, while manufacturing in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, actually contracted last month.
However shares fell back and pulled the Footsie lower.
Applied Optical Technologies (AOT) and Hologram Industries both rose approximately 25% during March but fell back significantly in April.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has gained 30pc since September but fell back 61 points in early trading in the afternoon yesterday.
BRITAIN'S biggest companies fell back on the London market today as oil giants BP and Shell continued to suffer.
The index for transit equipment fell 0.8 percent as truck production fell back. The production of farm and service industry equipment declined as well.