The word ‘back‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to move in a backwards direction or to support someone or something.​​​

​​For example:

  • You can back the car on the drive if you like. (move backwards)
  • I’ll back your story if the police ask. (support)


Back is a regular verb. The past tense and past participle is backed.

phrasal verbs with back

Phrasal verbs with ‘back’ include:

  • back away
    meaning – retreat
    example – Slowly back away from the dog, he`s getting angry.
  • back down
    meaning – surrender or decide not to do something because of the opposition
    example – The Government backed down on their plans to destroy the forest.
  • back in/into
    meaning – reverse a car into a space
    example – She carefully backed into the space as the instructor requested.
  • back off
    meaning – go away, retreat
    example – I wish these losers would back off. I have a boyfriend.
  • back out
    meaning – decide not to do something you said you would do or reverse a car out of a space
    example – Can you back the car out a bit? It’s too close to the wall, I can’t get in.
  • back someone up
    meaning – support someone
    example – I`ve backed you up all the way, but if you did steal the watch… you`re on your own.
  • back up
    meaning – provide evidence to support your claim, make more copies of files, reverse a car
    example – He backed up his claim with graphs and reports from the last 5 years.

picture phrasal verbs with back

phrasal verbs with back

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘back’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with back - back away
phrasal verbs with back - back down
phrasal verbs with back - back in/into
phrasal verbs with back - back off
phrasal verbs with back - back out
phrasal verbs with back - back someone up
phrasal verbs with back - back up

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with back below.

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Click the links below to learn more phrasal verbs with pictures or go to the main phrasal verbs groups page to see the full list.