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regress to (something)

1. To return to some earlier state or point of development. It's not uncommon for victims of such trauma to regress to a childlike state as an emotional defense mechanism. I try to keep a fairly neutral accent, but I regress to a real southern twang whenever I get nervous.
2. To move or recede backward to some point. The ice on the lake began regressing to the shoreline as the temperatures continued to rise.
3. To move from a more extreme position back toward the statistical mean. Random variables will almost always regress to the mean if you have a large enough sample size.
See also: regress, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

regress to something

to go back to an earlier, probably simpler, state; to go back to a more primitive state. Bob claimed that Gerald's behavior was regressing to that of a three-year-old. I tend to regress to my college ways when I am out with the guys.
See also: regress, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Meillassoux concludes that since the principle of sufficient reason requires the ontological argument in order to avoid an infinite regress, then by refuting the ontological argument we must also reject the principle of sufficient reason.
The DanStem study resolved this contradiction by revealing that LIF helps maintain the cells in their regressed, early stage of development.
But, if the value of 12$ in time t is equal to the value of 15$ in time t+1, therefore a regress had happened.
We could, in principle, take this regress several steps further, and in various different directions.
Moral foundationalism is an attractive position because it promises to answer the regress problem.
Such experiences must somehow stop the regress of a posteriori justifications, and the only way that they can do this is by providing a posteriori justification without requiring it themselves (i.e., without themselves being evaluable as justified or unjustified).
They intend to reproduce the beneficial aspects of high density lipoprotein (HDL, the "good cholesterol") to regress plaque build-up in the vascular bed.
I AGREE with Pete Waterman, if we don't progress we regress, everywhere was once green but we have to move forward.
Researchers from this study suspect that up to one fifth of breast cancer may spontaneously regress if left alone.
"The conclusion that more than one in five invasive breast cancers is destined to regress without incident if not detected by mammography is nothing more than an overreaching leap in logic," said Robert A.
Since AKs arise and regress so frequently in a field of sun-damaged skin and there is no way to identify which ones will transform into skin cancer, it's illogical to treat individual lesions with cryotherapy, as many dermatologists persist in doing, she continued.
But although lesions develop very quickly, they regress just as rapidly.
Any decisions to bring back practices that will visibly enrich the liturgy or the religious demeanour of a parish Church, highlighting its historical significance, is not regress at all, but progress in the fullest sense.
Since the majority of low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions will regress spontaneously in adolescent females, most treatment guidelines allow for the observation of these lesions through repeated cytology, said Dr.