Did you know?

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

back away - 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.



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 [intransitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyback away
he/she/itbacks away
present participlebacking away
past tensebacked away
past participlebacked away
  1. 1
    to move away backwards from someone, for example because you are afraid
    back away from: The photo showed a woman backing away from a man with a gun.
  2. 2
    to gradually become less involved in something
    back away from: The World Bank is backing away from big infrastructure projects.
    Synonyms and related words
See also main entry: back


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


lively or active

Open Dictionary

brain fade

a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

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