Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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.Bicycles

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).Changing your mind
(Definition of backpedal from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of backpedal?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Translations of “backpedal”

Word of the Day

improvisation

a performance that an actor, musician, etc. has not practised or planned

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More