smooth back

(redirected from smoothing them back)

smooth back

To cause something to move back and remain flattened with or as with one's hand or hands. A noun or pronoun can be used between "smooth" and "back." I smoothed back the feverish child's hair and placed a damp washcloth on her forehead. I smoothed the crinkled paper back so the scanner would be able to read the barcode.
See also: back, smooth

smooth something back

to flatten and position something by pressing or smoothing. He smoothed his hair back out of his eyes. Jeff smoothed back his hair.
See also: back, smooth
References in classic literature ?
As I spoke, I observed a large dog lying on the sunny grass beneath raise its ears as if about to bark, and then smoothing them back, announce, by a wag of the tail, that some one approached whom it did not consider a stranger.
Last week, an unidentified man from Kentucky paid nearly pounds 9,000 for four strands of hair that once grew out of George Washington's head - not for the quill he used to sign the American Constitution or for an original copy of his Farewell Address, but for four paltry hairs that he probably never gave a thought to except when smoothing them back each morning.