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Back off   /bæk ɔf/   Listen
Back off

verb
1.
Move backwards from a certain position.  Synonyms: back down, back up.
2.
Remove oneself from an obligation.  Synonyms: back down, bow out, chicken out, pull out.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Back off" Quotes from Famous Books



... was affectionate. "Don't holla, or I'll give you to the crows. Back. Back off this bridge—quick! or I'll—" I pushed the pistol nearer; the danger was no less to him because I was thoroughly frightened. He backed; but he glared a devilish elation, for behind me beat the hoofs of both his horsemen. I had ...
— The Cavalier • George Washington Cable

... to play football. It's pleasant pastime, but too excitin' for a frail thing like me. He gave me his cap to carry, an' told me to back off about twenty feet, an' try to run over him, or stick my stiff-arm in his face or dodge him—any way at all to get by. I backed off an' then I looked at him. He looked about as hard to ...
— Happy Hawkins • Robert Alexander Wason

... nag, which caused him to break from the man who was leading him, and in his fright throw me off backwards. My hands being confined with irons, and my feet tied under the horse with a rope, I had no power to help myself. I fell back off of the horse and could not extricate myself from this dreadful condition; the horse kicked with all his might while I was tied so close to his rump that he could only strike me with ...
— Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, an American Slave, Written by Himself • Henry Bibb

... for joy, so that she almost tumbled back off the stool).—"Oh, God be praised and thanked, at last I have found one chaste soul in this wicked world! (sobs, throws up her eyes, falls upon Sidonia's neck, kisses her, and weeps over her:) ah yes, one chaste soul at last, ...
— Sidonia The Sorceress V2 • William Mienhold

... was given to back off, and the vessels were soon clear. Haco put his sloop at once on the larboard tack, and looking over the side observed that the bottom of the yawning gap was thus raised nearly three feet out of ...
— Shifting Winds - A Tough Yarn • R.M. Ballantyne

... could be wrong. Maybe our concept of science is too narrow. Maybe we're like the turkey. We've become so fixed in our pattern of solving a problem we can't change, can't back off and take another look, see the problem not as it appears but ...
— Eight Keys to Eden • Mark Irvin Clifton

... fought between the Israelites and the Philistines, the ark of God was taken, and Hophni and Phinehas were both slain. Then the news was brought to Eli the priest, and the old man, when he heard it, fell back off his chair in a fit, and broke his neck and died. The news also reached the wife of Phinehas. We do not know her name. We only hear of her this once, but by the one little incident recorded of her, we know ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... Square on the evening referred to. Mr. Greeley appeared at a front window of a house on the Broadway side and came out upon a temporary platform. His appearance is deeply stamped upon my memory. He was in a rather slouchy evening dress, his white hair thrown back off his splendid forehead, and his broad, smooth, kindly features as serene as the face of a big, ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... Shorty again had a cigar. He had parted with Pedro for forty dollars, a striped Mexican blanket, and a pair of spurs. Undressing over in the bunk house, he said to the Virginian, "I'll sure buy Pedro back off him just as soon as ever I rustle some cash." The Virginian grunted. He was thinking he should have to travel hard to get the horses to the Judge by the 30th; and below that thought lay his aching disappointment and his longing for ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... The best they would do for me was to back off to the other side of the room, eyes and ears wide open, ...
— On With Torchy • Sewell Ford

... would think they would have to throw a pail of water on her to make her let go, and all the time she would be biting and shaking like a terrier with a rat, and finally give one kick at last at her red trail with her hind foot, and back off the stage looking as though she would have to be carried on a dustpan, and the people in the audience would look at each other in pity and never give her a cheer, when, if she had come out and patted her leg, and put one hand up to her ear, and sung, "Ise ...
— Peck's Sunshine - Being a Collection of Articles Written for Peck's Sun, - Milwaukee, Wis. - 1882 • George W. Peck

... stepped back off the sidewalk, but when the policeman's back was turned a little black boy, who stood somewhat apart from the others, sneaked up to the packing box into which the China Cat and the Talking Doll had ...
— The Story of a China Cat • Laura Lee Hope

... way. It made him feel his head very big. He turned over the flyleaf and looked wearily at the green round earth in the middle of the maroon clouds. He wondered which was right, to be for the green or for the maroon, because Dante had ripped the green velvet back off the brush that was for Parnell one day with her scissors and had told him that Parnell was a bad man. He wondered if they were arguing at home about that. That was called politics. There were two sides in ...
— A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man • James Joyce

... craft continued to settle until at length, recognising that all efforts were useless, he ordered all hands aboard his own ship, and cast off, the Kasanumi foundering almost before the Akatsuki could back off clear of her. ...
— Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun - A Story of the Russo-Japanese War • Harry Collingwood

... painful friction with Mr. Smart's fist was a providential happening; but Providence had ordered otherwise, and in this manner: The steamer captain, ahead of his reckoning while approaching the coast in thick fog, ran his ship at full speed onto the sands of Cape Cod. He was unable to back off; a rising wind and sea threw the steamer broadside to the beach, and here she churned a hole for herself from which a wrecking tug could ...
— The Boy Scouts Book of Stories • Various

... back to the office, and Devore, who had the start, won by a short length. Luckily the distance was short, not quite half a block, and the presses hadn't started yet. Working like the crew of a sinking ship, we snatched the first page form back off the steam table and pried it open and gouged a double handful of hot slugs out of the last column—Devore blistered his fingers doing it. A couple of linotype operators who were on the late trick threw together the stick or two of copy that Webb and I scribbled off a line at a time. And while ...
— The Escape of Mr. Trimm - His Plight and other Plights • Irvin S. Cobb

... safe," he replied quietly. He vaulted into the box and signalled to the laborers. Hilda stepped back off the block as he went up perhaps a third of the way, and then came down. She said nothing, but stepped ...
— Calumet 'K' • Samuel Merwin

... the ruffians the Diamond brothers[C] still hold sway, fighting like madmen in their endeavors to win a victory. They cannot do less, for to back off in this critical moment means sure ...
— Deadwood Dick, The Prince of the Road - or, The Black Rider of the Black Hills • Edward L. Wheeler



Words linked to "Back off" :   pull back, retire, retreat, chicken out, back up, draw back, recede, pull away, pull out, resile, move back, get out, withdraw



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