turn back

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turn (one's) back

1. Literally, to turn so that one is facing away (from someone or something). Now, turn your back to the camera and look over shoulder. Great, perfect! Elise turned her back and pouted over not being allowed to buy the doll she wanted.
2. To ignore, abandon, or disregard (someone or something). Thousands of employees have been laid off during the financial crisis, and the government has just turned its back to them, as usual. Don't turn your back on your country and your culture—they're important parts of who you are.
See also: back, turn

turn back

1. To stop moving forward and begin returning to one's point of origin. I think we should turn back—we could be in serious trouble if the weather gets any worse while we're up here. I started walking over to Jennifer to ask her to prom, but I lost my nerve and turned back.
2. To reverse or undo one's course of action. This tax reform bill will fundamentally change the landscape of the economy—if it passes, there's no turning back. After massive protests across every branch of the company, the CEO turned back from his decision to cut employee benefits.
3. To cause someone to stop moving forward and begin returning to their point of origin. A noun or pronoun They turned me back at the door because they said I wasn't dressed formally enough for the gala. Agents at the border began turning back anyone attempting to enter the country.
See also: back, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

turn someone or something back

to cause someone or something to stop and go back; to cause someone or something to retreat. The border guards turned us back because we had no passports. They turned back the bus because the bridge was down.
See also: back, turn

turn back (from some place)

to stop one's journey and return. We turned back from the amusement park so we could go home and get the tickets we had forgotten. We turned back at the last minute.
See also: back, turn

turn one's back

 (on someone or something)
1. Lit. to turn one's body so that one's back faces someone or something. I turned my back on the dead horse and walked slowly away. I turned my back on the shouting man and left the room.
2. Fig. to abandon or ignore someone or something. Don't turn your back on your old friends. Bob has a tendency to turn his back on serious problems. This matter needs your attention. Please don't just turn your back.
See also: back, turn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turn back

1. Reverse one's direction, as in We had to turn back earlier than expected. [First half of 1500s]
2. Drive someone back or away, as in They turned back anyone who didn't have an invitation, or Our forces soon turned back the enemy. [First half of 1500s]
3. Fold down, as in Turn back the page you're on to keep your place in the magazine. [Second half of 1800s] Also see turn one's back on.
See also: back, 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 back

1. To abandon one's way, course, or direction and return: The road became too muddy, and we had to turn back. Once you sign the contract, you cannot turn back.
2. To force someone or something to stop and go back: Our surprise attack turned back the advancing army. The police turned us back at the border because we forgot our passports.
3. To fold something down: Turn back the page's corner to save your place in the book. The tailor turned the edge of the fabric back and made a hem.
See also: back, turn
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.
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References in classic literature ?
She tried to dissuade Mary from going, but in vain; and that being the case, thought it best to accept the Miss Musgroves' much more cordial invitation to herself to go likewise, as she might be useful in turning back with her sister, and lessening the interference in any plan of their own.
Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, sometimes several steps at one bout, sometimes stopping, never turning back. If she had once turned back, it might have been the death of Mrs.
Boris Johnson has been accused of "turning back the clock" on the fight against childhood obesity with his pledge to review so-called sin taxes.
On Wednesday, he said there was no turning back for him.
Officials claimed a white helicopter crossed into the Indian airspace in Gulpur sector and hovered over there for sometime before turning back.
The Pirates drew 16 points from Yang Remulla in turning back thebManuel L.
UP claimed the twice-to-beat advantage in the men's stepladder semis after turning back La Salle, 4-1, behind singles' bets JM Bernardo and CK Clemente and doubles' squads Betong Pineda and Paul Gonzales to rack up a 5-1 record.
Download Aoun: No turning back on fighting corruption, measures controlling revenues and expenditures NNA - President of the republic, Michel Aoun, on Thursday maintained that the measures to control the state's revenues and expenditures and to fight corruption would be taken.
Tracy Buchanan; NO TURNING BACK; Crooked Lane Books (Fiction: Mystery) 25.99 ISBN: 9781683311638
Staff are preparing for one of the most ambitious contributions to the commemoration of the Battle of the Somme, an 'immersive experience' (as the summer brochure puts it) called 1916: No Turning Back. "It's 1916," goes the spiel.
-Var of drivers arrived at the custom gate turning back with their vehicles
Turning back the clock urning back the clock Turning back the clock MIRREN HELEN DAME Helen Mirren has been turning heads with a new hairstyle recently.
"They could have been turning back after realising it was too steep," he said.
They will be turning back time on 35 of the collection's 500-plus clocks as the nation moves from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time on Sunday.
Instead, three British families are turning back the clock to see how our lifestyles have changed.