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turn back - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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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

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