Definition of "backpedal" [back•ped•al]

  • To move the pedals of a bicycle or similar vehicle backward, especially to apply a brake. (verb-intransitive)
  • To move backward by taking short quick steps, as in boxing or football. (verb-intransitive)
  • To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude: The senator later backpedaled on the issue. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "backpedal" in a sentence
  • "The hospitals — which were the first to backpedal from the initial industry agreement to lower health care spending by 1.5 percentage points over 10 years — objected."
  • "Has marginal timed speed, his backpedal is stiff and high and he often gets turned around by the slot receivers and tight ends working the short area ..."
  • "It’s a backpedal from the claim I was addressing, as well as from Matthew’s claim."