Also found in: Dictionary.
1. To twist or turn around and face or go in the opposite direction. These small country roads keep winding back on themselves, so it has been taking us a lot longer to reach the cabin than I thought it would. My paper route goes all the way out to the edge of town before eventually winding back.
2. To set a dial or meter of some kind to an earlier position or reading. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "back." They were caught winding the electricity meter back to pay less than they owed. I forgot to wind back the clocks for daylight savings time and ended up oversleeping.
[for something, such as a road] to turn so that it heads in the direction from whence it came. The road we got lost on wound back and we were not able to reach the lake on time. When we were lost, we found a stream in the woods, but it wound back and did not lead us in the direction we wanted.
To set some clock or counter to an earlier reading: Don't forget to wind your clock back for standard time. When he sold the car, he wound back the odometer to make the car seem newer.