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back +‎ step


backstep (plural backsteps)

  1. A step backwards
    • 1985, Rick Elstein & ‎Mary Carillo Bowden, Rick Elstein's Tennis Kinetics: With Martina Navratilova, page 130:
      There are also times when a player needs to enlist the aid of the backstep while on the baseline.
    • 2012, Steve Scott, Winning on the Mat
      The attacker steps across his body and places his right foot on the mat. As he does this, the attacker uses his left hand to pull on his opponent's right sleeve and uses his left hand to start his backstep.
  2. (geology) An abrupt subsidence or change in deposition preserved in the sedimentary record due to a marine transgression.
  3. (fluid mechanics) Flow over a backward-facing step.
  4. The process of going back and finishing a specification that was incomplete at the start of a process, once enough progress has been made to know the full details.
    • 1989, R. G. Dromey, Program derivation, →ISBN, page 562:
      With care it is possible to combine a median-of-three mechanism with partitioning that avoids backstep initialization.
  5. A platform at the rear of a firetruck where a firefighter can stand.
    • 2010, Vincent Dunn, Collapse of Burning Buildings, 2nd Edition, →ISBN, page 303:
      Then, when I was a backstep firefighter in the early 1960s, a fire occurred in an old vacant movie theater on my day off.
    • 2013, Federal emergency Management Agency, ‎U.S. Fire Administration, Safe Operation of Fire Tankers, page 92:
      Note the mirror next to the rear warning lights that allows the driver to view the backstep area of the apparatus.


backstep (third-person singular simple present backsteps, present participle backstepping, simple past and past participle backstepped)

  1. To take a step backwards
  2. To return to a previous place or time.
  3. To retract or take back.
    • 2013, Dennis Baker, Restless Hearts
      Tony's smile departed his face and sadness became him. Pete began to backstep his words. He was filled with remorse over what he had asked the Corporal and was quick to reassure Tony that she was there, waiting.
  4. To be arranged in steps going backwards.
    • 2001, Giovanna Magi, All Paris, →ISBN, page 122:
      Le Vau is responsible for the jutting central core, while the wings that backstep so elegantly were designed Hardouin-Mansart.
  5. (geology, of a shoreline) To recede in an abrupt fashion due to marine transgression.
    • 2009, Kw Glennie, Petroleum Geology of the North Sea: Basic Concepts and Recent Advances
      As seen elsewhere in the North Sea, transgression continued in the Late Jurassic, causing shorelines to backstep, with coeval deposition of the Heno Formation clastics and Lola Formation claystones.
    • 1992, R.H Workum & A.S. Hedinger, Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 2509, page 41:
      In some localities the bank margins of several cycles are stacked above each other, in other places they backstep or prograde relative to each other.
  6. To finish a specification that was initially incomplete once enough progress has been made to know all the details.
    • 2008, Jing Zhou & ‎Changyun Wen, Adaptive Backstepping Control of Uncertain Systems, →ISBN, page 165:
      Robust adaptive backstepping control algorithms are developed for state feedback tracking of a class of uncertain dynamic nonlinear systems preceded by unknown dead-zone nonlinearities, in the presence of bounded external disturbances.