turn one's back on, to

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turn one's back on

Deny, reject; also abandon, forsake. For example, I can't turn my back on my own daughter, no matter what she's done, or He simply turned his back on them and never gave it a second thought. [c. 1400] Also see when one's back is turned.
See also: back, on, turn
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.

turn one's back on, to

To reject; also, to run away (from a fight). Emerson used it in the first sense in his famous Transcendentalist poem, “Brahma” (1857): “Find me, and turn thy back on heaven.” Tennyson used it in the second sense in “The Revenge”: “Let us bang these dogs of Seville . . . For I never turn’d my back upon Don or devil yet.” The second figurative meaning is the older one, dating from about 1400; the first began to be used about 1600.
See also: back, turn
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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