on the back foot
- (cricket, of a batsman) Having the weight on the back foot in order to play a defensive stroke
- (idiomatic) in a defensive posture; on the defensive; off balance; at a disadvantage.
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.
- 2017 August 25, Euan McKirdy et al, "Arrest warrant to be issued for former Thai PM Yingluck Shinawatra", in edition.cnn.com, CNN:
Thitinan said Yingluck's decision to skip the verdict hearing will have "emboldened" the military government. "They would not have wanted to put her in jail, in this scenario, (but her not showing up today) puts her on the back foot and gives them an edge."