backpedal (third-person singular simple present backpedals, present participle (North America, chiefly US) backpedaling or (AU, NZ, British, Canada) backpedalling, simple past and past participle (North America, chiefly US) backpedaled or (AU, NZ, British, Canada) backpedalled)
- (intransitive) To pedal backwards on a bicycle.
- (intransitive) To step backwards.
- The player had to backpedal before catching the ball.
- (intransitive, idiomatic) To distance oneself from an earlier claim or statement; back off from an idea.
- Though initially adopting a hard-line stance, the politician soon started to backpedal.
- (distance oneself from an earlier claim or statement): climb down
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