back off, to

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back off

1. noun Go away! Stop bothering me! Back off! I told you I'm not going to the dance, and that's it! You need to back off, buddy. I've told you I'm not interested.
2. verb To retreat on a particular idea or course of action. Your aggressive approach is starting to annoy people—you need to back off a bit. Management seems to be backing off that initiative, at least for now.
3. verb To cause someone to retreat on a particular idea or course of action. In this usage, a noun is used between "back" and "off." Can you please back your minions off? They're harassing me.
4. verb To move backward away from something. Back off that other runner so you don't collide with her.
5. verb To move backward past the edge of something. If he's not careful, he's going to back off that narrow step.
See also: back, off

back someone or something off (from something)

to guide or move someone or something a short distance from something. I backed the car off from the curb a tiny bit. Using signals, I backed the car off from the crushed bicycle.
See also: back, off

back off

(from someone or something) Go to back away (from someone or something).
See also: back, off

back off

1. See back down, def. 2.
2. Relent, abandon one's stand. For example, The chairman wanted to sell one division but later backed off. [Mid-1900s]
See also: back, off

back off

v.
1. To move backward so that one is farther away from someone or something: Back off the car ahead of you: you're driving too close to it. The dog growled at me when I approached, so I backed off.
2. To move something backward beyond the edge of something: He accidentally backed the truck off the ledge and broke an axle.
3. To decrease the intensity or amount of something: I think I should back off the desserts for a little while so I can lose some weight.
4. To decide not to continue doing something or supporting an idea: You've made up your mind, so don't back off your idea now! Just before they were about to sign the papers to buy the new house, they got nervous and backed off.
5. To stop intimidating, threatening, or pressuring someone: Even as I left the store, the salesman wouldn't back off me. Whenever anyone bothers me, I just tell them to back off.
6. To cause someone or something to stop intimidating, threatening or pressuring: The angry dogs were barking at the poor kid, so I waved a stick and backed them off.
See also: back, off

back off, to

To retreat from a position, or yield; leave someone or something alone. For example, “When Jane learned about the required deposit, she backed off from the deal.” Or, “Mom thought Dad had punished the boys enough and told him to back off.” This usage dates from the first half of the 1900s.
See also: back
References in classic literature ?
The Bowman immediately shot out an arrow and said to the Lion: "I send thee my messenger, that from him thou mayest learn what I myself shall be when I assail thee." The wounded Lion rushed away in great fear, and when a Fox who had seen it all happen told him to be of good courage and not to back off at the first attack he replied: "You counsel me in vain; for if he sends so fearful a messenger, how shall I abide the attack of the man himself?'
But my son has recently said that he finds it weird that I'm in touch with his ex and that I need to back off a little for the sake of him and his new girlfriend.
Harriet warns Cain to back off EASTENDERS BBC1, 7.30pm IT'S the day of Sylvie's funeral.
EMMERDALE (ITV, 7pm) MISTAKENLY thinking he hatched a plan to gas Sandy, Bob goes to visit Ged inside and makes a bargain to get the con to back off.
Those tailgating a taxi in Dubai will be receiving a message on their radio asking them to back off, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has revealed.
The secret to asking for referrals more frequently is not just in knowing how to ask for referrals, it's knowing how and when to back out of the conversation in a confident and dignified manner.We've found that when people know when and how to back off from their referral request, they have the confidence and courage to ask more often.
Later, the Mirror quoted him, as adding: "I had to back off otherwise there would have been an almighty shunt.
Function test again and continue to back off the screws 1/4 turn until the op rod moves freely.
US Defense Secretary Gates told Al Jazeera the Arab world should stock up on weapons as a way to pressure Iran to back off its nuclear program.
He said: "I just started to back off. He just kept coming at me, I backed off, I thought I was going to be beaten up." The case continues..
David Tuck, the new president of the National Association of Head Teachers, told the Government to back off and let schools get on with their work.
Others suggest that the central bank should further raise short-term rates as means of sending labor a message to back off excessive wage demands.
However, despite these losses and plans to close 14 plants in the United States, Ford has stubbornly refused to back off its financial support for homosexual groups that has alienated many of the company's loyal customers.
'Likewise, if they can read the figure five when travelling at 50mph they need to back off and for 30mph the figure 3.'
Sara's efforts help her overcome her grief, but also threaten her career as an angry female warns her that if she fails to back off she will lose her hands.