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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
  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.

    1. a.
      [transitive] spoken if two people go back a particular period of time, they have known each other for that period of time

      We go back a long time, don’t we?

  3. 3
    [intransitive] British when schools or students go back, classes begin again after a long holiday

    When do the kids go back?

  4. 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
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to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

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Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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