(third-person singular simple present turns back, present participle turning back, simple past and past participle turned back)
- (intransitive) To reverse direction and retrace one's steps.
- Realising he had forgotten his briefcase, he turned back to the office.
- To return to a previous state of being.
- He stopped drinking for a couple of years, but now he has turned back to his old ways
- Once we take this decision, there's no turning back.
- To prevent or refuse to allow passage or progress.
- The soldiers turned back all the refugees at the frontier.
- To adjust to a previous setting.
- In Autumn we normally turn the clocks back one hour.
- I love that song, turn back to it!
- To fold something back; to fold down
- When you make the bed, please always turn the sheet back over the blanket.
- In sense 3 the object is normally a person, or group of people, or means of transport. It may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.
- In senses 4 and 5 the object is normally a thing. It may appear before or after the particle. If the object is a pronoun, then it must be before the particle.