backpedal

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back·ped·al

 (băk′pĕd′l)
intr.v. back·ped·aled, back·ped·al·ing, back·ped·als or back·ped·alled or back·ped·al·ling
1. To move the pedals of a bicycle or similar vehicle backward, especially to apply a brake.
2. To move backward by taking short quick steps, as in boxing or football.
3. To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude: The senator later backpedaled on the issue.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.backpedal - pedal backwards on a bicyclebackpedal - pedal backwards on a bicycle  
bicycle, bike, pedal, wheel, cycle - ride a bicycle
2.backpedal - step backwards, in boxingbackpedal - step backwards, in boxing    
step - shift or move by taking a step; "step back"
3.backpedal - modify one's opinion, make it less strong
rethink - change one's mind; "He rethought his decision to take a vacation"

backpedal

verb
To move in a reverse direction:
Idiom: retrace one's steps.
References in periodicals archive ?
The AML leader backpedaled from a claim to tender his resignation.
But Duckworth quickly backpedaled after Service-members Legal Defense Network, a Washington, D.
The founder of Domino's Pizza has backpedaled on plans regarding the Catholic university and town he is helping to create in Florida.
And this was initially conceived as competition for ``American Idol''; NBC has obviously backpedaled from that ambition exponentially.
Early works like Medea (1987) and Zentropa (1991) laid the cinematography on thick and backpedaled narrative into a rumpled sketch.
Since peaking near the 36 level in May 2008, the stock has backpedaled more than 82%, underperforming the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by about 20% during the past 60 trading sessions.
The Diamondbacks, who backed Wally Backman, then did a background check, then backpedaled, would never be in this embarrassing position if they hadn't fired Bob Brenly in the first place.
Apparently fearful of Sheldon's clout with California's few religious conservative voters, Simon immediately backpedaled, blaming the gay rights positions on campaign staffers.