Meaning of “backtrack” in the English Dictionary

"backtrack" in British English

See all translations

backtrackverb [ I ]

uk /ˈbæk.træk/ us /ˈbæk.træk/

backtrack verb [ I ] (CHANGE OPINION)

to say that you did not mean something you said earlier or say that you have changed your opinion:

[ + speech ] "All right," he backtracked, "It's possible that I was mistaken."
The officers were forced to backtrack on their statements.
She refused to backtrack from her criticisms of the proposal.

(Definition of “backtrack” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"backtrack" in American English

See all translations

backtrackverb [ I ]

us /ˈbækˌtræk/

to go back the same way you came, or to consider information again:

We need to backtrack a bit and examine the history of this problem.

If you backtrack from something you previously said or agreed to do, you begin to stop supporting it:

The government backtracked on plans that would have increased taxes.

(Definition of “backtrack” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)