force back

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force back

1. To cause someone or something to move away from someone or something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "force" and "back." I jumped in front of the kids to force them back from the street.
2. To cause someone or something to return to something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "force" and "back." The bell signaling the end of recess forced us back to class.
3. To contain one's emotions. A noun or pronoun can be used between "force" and "back." I found myself forcing back tears during the play because the acting was just so good.
See also: back, force
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

force back

v.
1. To make someone or something retreat or return: A terrible storm forced the soldiers back to the camp. Hard up for money, the strikers were forced back to work.
2. To prevent the expression of one's own emotions: She forced back her laughter as she listened to the debate. He forced his anger back when he read the editorial.
See also: back, force
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.
See also:
References in classic literature ?
As some of these wretched inhabitants escaped to the woods, all possible measures were adopted to force them back to captivity.
Upper South states didn't secede at first, but vowed to join the Deep South states if the government tried to force them back into the Union.
Later, they fired tear gas at the unarmed protesters to force them back into the village.