reach back to

reach back to (some point in time)

1. To originate in and continue on from some previous point or period in time. The traditional ceremony reaches all the way back to the founding of the country. The recipe I'm using reaches back to the days of the settlers.
2. To draw from, contain elements of, or be inspired by some previous period in time or someone or something therefrom. The singer reaches back to the powerhouses of the '70s to delivery some truly funky tunes. Her latest film reaches back to the black-and-white era while creating something wholly original.
See also: back, point, reach

reach back (in)to something

to extend back into a particular period in time. This policy reaches back into the last century. Our way of making fine candies reaches back to the recipes used by the founder of the company.
See also: back, reach
References in classic literature ?
In the meantime, Friday and the captain's mate so well managed their business with the rest that they drew them, by hallooing and answering, from one hill to another, and from one wood to another, till they not only heartily tired them, but left them where they were, very sure they could not reach back to the boat before it was dark; and, indeed, they were heartily tired themselves also, by the time they came back to us.
As financial management leaders, we must reach back to actively "build our bench" and develop our replacements.
But the preacher need not reach back to the ancient Near East to make this point.
boys bid by the mare Island Fashion (Corey Nakatani), who will try to reach back to the quality of her second-place finish, behind Southern Image, in the 2004 Santa Anita Handicap.
The center's acclaimed professional company creates original choreography based on Odissi classical dance, the roots of which reach back to the second century B.
It's tonic to reach back to a defamiliarized time when everyone was learning on the fly and unashamed of that fact.
World Youth Days, he said, reach back to a Christianity that is largely pre-Vatican II and almost pre-Enlightenment.
The roots of his unique style reach back to the San Francisco of the 1930s, when he studied with Henry Cowell and gave joint percussion concerts with John Cage.
If we can reach back to reclaim some of the bounty of the past, we must similarly be required to accept some of the blame for the past.
Based in Toronto, MPL has been a publicly traded company since the late 1980s, but its roots reach back to 1941 through The Investment Reporter.
Proposing that the roots of modern answers to these questions reach back to the fifteenth century, this book offers a synthetic treatment of poverty in the early modern period while keeping an eye on the same problem in the twentieth century.
Whereas putative vertebrates appear in the late Cambrian, around 520 million years ago, their chordate ancestors apparently reach back to the main burst of the evolutionary event known as the Cambrian explosion.
Repeat the push-up portion of the exercise and then alternate the reach back to the left side.
This was written at the end of the eighteenth century, but it implies a concept of war as governed by codes of honor that reach back to the era of chivalry, and even earlier.