row back

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row back

To quickly or abruptly reverse or retreat from one's earlier position, decision, or opinion. Primarily heard in UK. The actor had to row back when he let slip a racist remark during the press conference. The government is rowing back on the decision to increase water charges after nationwide protests erupted on Friday.
See also: back, row
References in periodicals archive ?
Clermont (pictured on the right six rows back on boat 3 above) said he was introduced to the sport while in law school at the University of Pittsburgh.
We feel certain Brenda is right about the person three rows back, fifth from the left.
Mum-of-two Barbara McGookin paid for two pounds 46 fifth-row tickets but has been moved 23 rows back.
He was talking about a medical procedure involving an injection into the testicle of a Sardinian boy, to prevent his children from developing anaemia, when a man six rows back from the stage fainted.
Or that "Negroes" were never allowed to sit at the front of the bus, only in the "colored" section several rows back, and even then they could be expelled if a white passenger simply requested their seat.
"With four days to go they contacted us saying that they shouldn't have sold us the tickets and we had to move to row G, about 50 rows back. It's not on, we have organised child care and are driving up from Northampton."
As water rushed in, warrior polyps located several rows back from the border inflated their acrorhagi, tripled their body length, and began bending around as if looking for trouble.
But Graham produced a vintage performance to destroy the young Canadian hot-shot - with Rhodes roaring encouragement from six rows back - to re-launch his career after a four-year retirement.
After I changed papers in 1977, I remained on that side of the house--two rows back at first because Row B belonged to Walter Terry, then in 1982 when Walter died, I woved forward, and it was from that seat that I eventually watched Lincoln disappear.
To my ears the piano's mechanism is a whisker more audible than on the Schubert CD, as if one were on the platform with the soloist rather than six rows back in the stalls.
SCOT Stephen Gallacher battled to save par from six rows back in an 18th grandstand to share the lead after two rounds of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.
"We spoke to him about hitting sixes, telling him not to try and hit them 40 rows back. As it was, he hit them 40 rows back!" Finch added: "It was one of those things, one of those days.
Jos Buttler can hit over the keeper or fine leg and next ball has the power to hit a straight six 20 rows back."
We went to the Italy game and paid pounds 58 to be sat 14 rows back from the corner flag, only a couple of rows back from the pounds 25 seats.
Mohammad Yousuf displayed some exquisite timing but Farhat was more brutal, jumping down the pitch to Monty Panesar's first ball of the day and planting him many rows back into the stand at long on.