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English definition of “backpedal”

backpedal

verb [I] uk   /ˈbækˌped.əl/ /ˌbækˈped-/ (-ll- or US usually -l-) us  

backpedal verb [I] (BICYCLE)

to move the pedals (= parts you operate with your feet) backwards on a bicycle: Some types of bike have brakes that you operate by backpedalling.

backpedal verb [I] (CHANGE OPINION)

to change an opinion that you had expressed before, or do something different from what you had said you would do: As soon as I said I thought she was wrong, she started backpedalling. He said he'd help, but now he's starting to backpedal (on his promise).
(Definition of backpedal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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