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go back - definition and synonyms


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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.



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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theygo back
he/she/itgoes back
present participlegoing back
past tensewent back
past participlegone back
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to return to a person, place, subject, or activity
    It started to rain, so we decided to go back.
    go back to: We didn’t think he’d go back to his wife after everything that’s happened.
    I’d like to go back to what Abby was saying just a minute ago.
    She should be well enough to go back to work on Wednesday.
    go back to doing something: The computer breaks down and you go back to writing things down on pieces of paper.
    go back for: I’d left my keys in the office and had to go back for them.
  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to have existed since or for a particular time
    My interest in the subject goes back many years.
    go back to: Some of these houses go back to the early 19th century.
  3. 4
    [intransitive] British when the clocks go back, everyone changes the time on their clocks so that they show a time that is one hour earlier than before
    Don’t forget, the clocks go back this Sunday.
See also main entry: go


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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