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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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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.