back down

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

to back down (phrasal verb)

  1. (idiomatic) To take a less aggressive position in a conflict than one previously has or has planned to.
    I was about to sue them, but I had to back down.
    I was going to sue them, but now I'm going to have to back down.
    • 2013 June 18, Simon Romero, "Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders," New York Times (retrieved 21 June 2013):
      By the time politicians in several cities backed down on Tuesday and announced that they would cut or consider reducing fares, the demonstrations had already morphed into a more sweeping social protest, with marchers waving banners carrying slogans like “The people have awakened.”

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