To put on the defensive; to put off balance.(verb)
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Use "backfoot" in a sentence
"I wrote the above to the tune of 'Men of Harlech' - anything sung to that tune will put the opposition on the backfoot, which is where I want Stevenage from start to finish."
"Welcoming the Af-Pak policy unveiled on Tuesday, minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor said the pressure maintained by the US on Taliban and al-Qaeda there is in the interest of India as it keeps such elements on the "backfoot"."
"Our feeling is that we need a co-ordinated approach and a good level of communication to anticipate problems before they arise rather than be caught on the backfoot when they do arise."