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English definition of “fall back”

fall back

verb uk phrasal verb with fall   /fɔːl/ us    /fɑːl/ (fell, fallen)
literary to move back suddenly from someone or something, often because you are frightened: She fell back in horror/disgust. If an army falls back, it moves away from an enemy army in order to avoid fighting them: The infantry fell back in disarray.
(Definition of fall back from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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