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English definition of “one step forward, two steps back”

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one step forward, two steps back

If you take one step forward, two steps back, you make progress but then experience events that cause you to be further behind than you were when you made the progress.
Translations of “one step forward, two steps back”
in Chinese (Traditional) 進一步,退兩步…
in Chinese (Simplified) 进一步,退两步…
(Definition of one step forward, two steps back from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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