to back off

Idiom Definition 1

Idiom Definition - back off

"to back off"

to physically move backward away from something or someone


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 2

Idiom Definition - back off

"to back off"

to decrease the intensity or amount


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 3

Idiom Definition - back off

"to back off"

to discontinue doing something or supporting something


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Definition 4

Idiom Definition - back off

"to back off"

to stop intimidating, threatening or pressuring


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - back off

A father is giving his son advice before going on a hike in the forest ...

Father:  Do you remember what you should do if you come across a porcupine?

Son:  Absolutely.  Back off.

Father:  That's right.  Slowly and calmly walk backwards away from the porcupine.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - back off

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  My boyfriend keeps complaining that I don't spend enough time with him. He says that I spend far too much time at the office.

Friend 2:  Have you ever thought about backing off the number of hours you spend at the office?

Friend 1:  I suppose that if I spent less time at the office, I would have more time to spend with my boyfriend.

Idiom Scenario 3

Idiom Definition - back off

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I thought you were going to go into business with Joe.

Friend 2:  I was supposed to but at the last moment, Joe backed off.

Friend 1:  You mean he changed his mind?

Friend 2:  Yes.  No more business with Joe.

Idiom Scenario 4

Idiom Definition - back off

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  You look a little upset.

Friend 2:  You wouldn't believe this salesman that just left. He was so pushy. He just kept pressuring and pressuring and pushing and pushing.

Friend 1:  He wouldn't back off?

Friend 2:  No, and I finally had to ask him, very rudely, to leave.

to back off - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   5,897   click for frequency by country

to back off - Gerund Form:

Backing off from a fight may be a wise decision.

to back off - Examples:

1)  You have a good attitude. Never give up, never surrender, never back off. But then again, change tactics, come at the enemy from another angle.

2)  So, I need a way to tell them to back off and knock it off, but in a polite way.

3)  There is NO QUESTION that we have to back off burning coal, oil, and their derivatives (natural gas, etc.).

4)  Tailgating causes crashes. Back off.

5)  The doctor told me to gain weight and back off exercise.

6)  Studio pressure apparently forced Murch to back off from the full fury of his conception, but this is still strong stuff.

7)  Negan intervenes and tells him to back off, asking him if he is actually going to beat on a defenseless child?

8)  I overindulged and had to learn how to back off. Moderation is key. I don't believe in denying yourself anything.

9)  The Romney campaign has showed no willingness to back off the suggestion that American Jeep workers may end up losing their jobs.

10)  There are also already calls being made for the Republic of Ireland to back off what is are some of the strictest anti-abortion rules in the world.

11)  In 2011, Reid flirted with filibuster reform, but backed off at the last minute, striking a handshake deal with Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

12)  I still pick up hard or soft covers in stores, but backed off from Amazon-preorder etc.

13)  The first time I went to board a tram I backed off because the carriage I was near seemed full.

14)  The mike squealed with feedback, and he backed off.

15)  I see no realistic situation where Republicans would suddenly find themselves backing off en masse to more moderate policy positions.

16)  Mitt Romney is backing off his political stand to repeal Obamacare on day 1.

17)  We're making plays and the critics are backing off a little bit.

18)  A global credit crunch will send interest rates up as everyone backs off funding governments without getting a good premium for it.

19)  So give a little and you may find she backs off a bit. 

20)  People perceived as weak are easy prey, victims. Strength backs off evil and only superior strength stops evil in its tracks.