on the back foot

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

on the back foot

  1. (idiomatic) In a defensive posture; off-balance.
    • 2003, Val McDermid, The distant echo, page 184:
      Lawson wasn't going to be put on the back foot by Brian Duff. "I don't know what you're on about. But I've kept my nose clean for over twenty years.
    • 2005, Clare Naylor; Mimi Hare, The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder‎, page 289:
      Now I was the one on the back foot. He liked me. "Really?" "I'd like to take you out when we're back in LA"
    • 2008, Sue Limb, Zoe & Chloe on the Prowl‎, page 112:
      She was on the back foot now. I had taken the initiative good and proper.

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Related terms[edit]