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.
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References in classic literature ?
The Marchioness stretched out a long white hand and gently forced him back again.
I suppose now that the lack of cigarettes, brought as a rule by her husband, forced him back upon her recollection, and the new feeling that the small comforts she was used to were missing gave her a sudden pang.
Hook, scarcely his inferior in brilliancy, but not quite so nimble in wrist play, forced him back by the weight of his onset, hoping suddenly to end all with a favourite thrust, taught him long ago by Barbecue at Rio; but to his astonishment he found this thrust turned aside again and again.
There was a scene of severe chaos as Mohammad Nawaz Sharif came out of his residence for talks with workers which forced him back into the residence.
He was confronted by the gang of robbers, all dressed in dark clothing, who forced him back in to the pub before stealing cash.
Dropping to 127th on last season's money list forced him back to the school where Khan finished top of the class.
When he got out to inspect the damage, two men forced him back into his vehicle.
'You formed a pincer movement and forced him back towards the waterfall, the victim pleading with you to stop.
He grappled with them and ran to his front door but two more masked men barged in and forced him back into his house.