fall back on

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fall back on (third-person singular simple present falls back on, present participle falling back on, simple past fell back on, past participle fallen back on)

  1. (transitive) To turn to as a substitute.
    • 2012 August 21, Jason Heller, “The Darkness: Hot Cakes (Music Review)”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      Since first tossing its cartoonish, good-time cock-rock to the masses in the early ’00s, The Darkness has always fallen back on this defense: The band is a joke, but hey, it’s a good joke. With Hot Cakes—the group’s third album, and first since reforming last year—the laughter has died. In its place is the sad wheeze of the last surviving party balloon slowly, listlessly deflating.
    • 1907 — Bertrand W Sinclair, Raw Gold
      So I fell back on the simple methods of the plainsman and Indian and jogged along on their trail.