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1. To maintain a distance (from someone or something), especially for safety reasons. Often used as an order. Make sure you stay back from that cliff—one gust of wind could send you flying right over the edge! Stay back—Tom is still really contagious!
2. To remain somewhere, especially work or school, after the end of normal hours. Sorry, honey, I won't be home in time for dinner. I have to stay back and help get this prototype finished for the meeting tomorrow. The school wants me to start staying back for an extra hour three days a week to offer help to students who may be falling behind.
3. To remain in the same grade in school for another year. I think Tom was too young to have started kindergarten. Maybe he should stay back a year so he'll be at the same level as the other students. The teacher's going to make me stay back another year if I fail this next test.
stay back (from someone or something)
To maintain a distance from someone or something, especially for safety reasons. Often used as an order. Make sure you stay back from that cliff—one gust of wind could send you flying right over the edge! The children always try to stay back from the scary old man who lived on the corner of their neighborhood. Stay back—Tom is still really contagious!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
stay back (from something)
to keep one's distance from someone or something. Stay back from the lawn mower! This is dangerous. Stay back!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To refrain from approaching. Used chiefly as a command: Stay back!—I've got a knife.
2. To repeat a grade level in school: The teacher suggested that our child stay back a year.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.