Word forms: back-pedals
Definitionslanguage note: The forms back-pedaling and back-pedaled are used in American English.
1. verb If you back-pedal, you express a different or less forceful opinion about something from the one you have previously expressed. [V] ⇒ Allen back-pedalled, saying that he had had no intention of offending them. [V + on] ⇒ He appeared to back-pedal on that statement. 2. verb If you say that someone back-pedals, you disapprove of their behaviour because they are not doing what they promised. [disapproval] [V] ⇒ She's backpedaled twice already. [V + on/from] ⇒ The cabinet may backpedal on these commitments. back-pedalling
uncountable noun ⇒ ...Britain's back-pedalling on reforms.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers