to return over the same course or route.
to withdraw from an undertaking, position, etc.; reverse a policy.
Contemporary Examples

“The amount of time you spend at the gym is not enough time to backtrack in your waist training,” she says.
Waist Training: Can You Cinch Your Waist Thin? DailyBurn July 17, 2014

Almost immediately Akin tried to backtrack, saying he misspoke.
Todd Akin’s Most Outrageous Comments (VIDEO) The Daily Beast August 19, 2012

Of course it does mean the governor is having to backtrack on yet another pledge he made.
Will an Oil Spill Save Charlie Crist? Jim DeFede May 3, 2010

He tried to backtrack and get the last words that Crowley should have given him.
Yes, The Debate Moderator Screwed Up. That’s Life. Megan McArdle October 16, 2012

Words just spill out of her mouth too quickly and she has to backtrack.
Interview: Kristen Bell, Voiceover Queen, On ‘Frozen,’ ‘Veronica Mars,’ & More Andrew Romano December 17, 2013

As a wave of revulsion spread across the internet, he began to backtrack.
British Politician Threatens To Punch Muslim Woman in the Throat Nico Hines June 19, 2014

That will be immensely difficult if Mr. Modi continues to backtrack on economic reform.
John Kerry Just Visited. But Should We Just Forget About India? Tunku Varadarajan August 2, 2014

Historical Examples

Loring realized he had made a mistake and tried to backtrack.
Danger in Deep Space Carey Rockwell

To-morrow I’ll sell the grub and backtrack to the coast to guard it.
The Trail of a Sourdough May Kellogg Sullivan

Following their backtrack through the forest, therefore, they proceeded towards the place where they had left their horses.
Bruin Mayne Reid

verb (intransitive)
to return by the same route by which one has come
to retract or reverse one’s opinion, action, policy, etc

“retrace one’s steps,” figuratively, by 1896, from literal sense, with reference to hunted foxes, from back (adv.) + track (v.). Related: Backtracked; backtracking.


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