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turn back - definition and synonyms


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phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyturn back
he/she/itturns back
present participleturning back
past tenseturned back
past participleturned back
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to return the same way that you came instead of continuing on your journey, or to make someone do this

    Bad weather forced them to turn back.

    Refugees who reach the border may be turned back.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to stop doing something and to return to a previous situation or condition

    I’ve gone too far to turn back now.

  3. 3
    [transitive] same as turn down (sense 3)

    A servant was turning back the covers of his bed as he entered.

See also main entry: turn

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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