intransitive verb-·ped·aled or -·ped·alled, -·ped·al·ing or -·ped·al·ling
- to press backward on the pedals of a bicycle, as to brake
- to move backward quickly, as in boxing to avoid blows
- to retract an earlier opinion
intransitive verbback·ped·aled, back·ped·al·ing, back·ped·als, or back·ped·alled back·ped·al·ling
- To move the pedals of a bicycle or similar vehicle backward, especially to apply a brake.
- To move backward by taking short quick steps, as in boxing or football.
- To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude: The senator later backpedaled on the issue.
(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.