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1. To take possession of something one had previously given, lent, or lost possession of to someone else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "back." I want to take back my video game from Jerry so I can play it over the weekend. This bank foreclosed on me illegally. The way I see it, this is just taking my own money back.
2. To return something one has purchased for a refund. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "back." I need to take back this blender—it doesn't work when I plug it in. You can take anything you've purchased back to us within 14 days, so long as it is still unopened in its original packaging.
3. To retract or rescind something one has said. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "back." If you don't take that back, I'm telling Mom! The senator quickly took back his statement, claiming he had gotten confused on the issue.
4. To transport one mentally or emotionally to a time in the past. A noun or pronoun is used between "take" and "back." Wow, hearing that song again really takes me back to my college days!
5. To accept someone back into one's life to resume a romantic relationship. A noun or pronoun can be used between "take" and "back." I can't believe you took her back after you caught her cheating on you! Gina is going to take back Benny again, I just know it.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
take something back (from someone)
to take possession of something that one had previously given away. I took my sweater back from Tim, since he never wore it. I took back my money from the child.
take something back
to retract a statement; to rescind one's remark. You had better take back what you said about my sister. I won't take what I said back! She's a twit!
take one back (to some time)
Fig. to cause one to think of a time in the past. This takes me back to the time I spent the summer in Paris. What you said really takes me back.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Retract a statement, as in I said you weren't much of a cook but after that dinner I take it all back. This usage was first recorded in 1775.
2. take one back. Return in thought to a past time, as in That music takes me back to the first dance I ever went to. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To retrieve and regain possession of something: I had to take back my jacket from your closet because I need to wear it. I took my book back because I forgot that I had written some notes in the margins. The store won't take back clothing if it has been worn.
2. To return something to some location: I took the book back to the library. The toaster I bought didn't work, so I had to take it back.
3. To cause someone to return in thought to a past time: That old song sure takes me back. The smell of the ocean takes me back to our first trip to the beach.
4. To retract something stated, written, or done: What a terrible thing to say—I demand that you take it back. After your bad behavior, I take back all the nice things I said about you. I wish I could take back my embarrassing performance.
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.