Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
1. Literally, to step backward. Everyone step back and give him a bit of space. They stepped back to get a better view of the painting.
2. By extension, to withdraw or remove oneself from something, often in order to consider it from a broader or more objective perspective. You're too focused on this project. You need to step back and consider the bigger picture of the whole company. I think everyone needs to step back from this issue for a moment and think about their motivations a bit more critically.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
step back (from someone or something)
to move away from someone or something; to move back so as to provide space around someone or something. Please step back from the injured woman. Give her some air. Step back and give her some air.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To move backward by taking one or more steps: I stepped back from the edge of the cliff. The police officer told the crowd to step back.
2. To withdraw from something, especially to consider it from a wider perspective: Let's step back from the project for a moment and admire all that we have accomplished. Rather than arguing about every detail, they should step back and determine what is really important.
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.