climb down

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

climb down (plural climb downs)

  1. (idiomatic, sometimes hyphenated) An abandonment, withdrawal from, or softening of a previously expressed opinion, policy, argument, etc.
    • 2003 Aug. 7, "Hope for Korea," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, p. A20 (retrieved 30 June 2011):
      It is interesting to speculate on what combination of factors acted within the Bush administration to bring about the climb-down from its previous position.
    • 2003 Sep. 27, "Mulyam shows his ‘secular’ face again, hits out at BJP," India Times (retrieved 30 June 2011):
      His climb-down from the "hard, secular" image was mainly to widen his support base.
    • 2010 April 24, "Editorial: Dalton McGuinty schooled on sex ed," Toronto Sun (Canada) (retrieved 30 June 2011):
      Hours before his climb down, the premier's own cabinet ministers had vigorously defended the curriculum.

Verb[edit]

climb down

  1. Used other than as an idiom. To descend by climbing.
    It took 4 hours to climb up, and just 2 to climb down.
  2. (idiomatic, sometimes followed by from) To abandon, withdraw from, or soften a previously expressed opinion, argument, etc.
    • 1992 July 27, Paul Lewis, "Inspectors begin search in Baghdad," The Day (Connecticut, USA), p. A5 (retrieved 30 June 2011):
      But Ekeus said Iraq had climbed down in its confrontation with the UN.
    • 1993 May 24, Michael Kramer, "The Political Interest: Drawing a Line in the Quicksand," Time:
      No, but it may be a way for Clinton to climb down from a policy he seems increasingly to view as a no-win proposition.
    • 2001 June 7, Morton Kondracke, "Quit arguing and develop policy to end energy woes," Reading Eagle (USA), p. B9 (retrieved 30 June 2011):
      If they are interested in climbing down from their oppositionism, Democrats ought to consult the Progressive Policy Institute, which has been critical of Bush, but which is developing a balanced, positive approach to the energy crisis.

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