Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

draw back - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theydraw back
he/she/itdraws back
present participledrawing back
past tensedrew back
past participledrawn back
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move away from someone

    She drew back in horror.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to pull something such as a curtain into an open position

    They heard the sound of a bolt being drawn back.

See also main entry: draw

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play