Meaning of back-pedal

back-ped•al

Pronunciation: (bak'ped"l), [key]
— -aled, -al•ing -alled, -al•ling.
  1. to retard the forward motion by pressing backward on the pedal, esp. of a bicycle with coaster brakes.
  2. to retreat from or reverse one's previous stand on any matter; shift ground: to back-pedal after severe criticism.
  3. to retreat from an opponent, esp. by stepping rapidly backward.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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