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[kuhm-bak] /ˈkʌmˌbæk/
a return to a former higher rank, popularity, position, prosperity, etc.:
The ex-champion kept trying to make a comeback.
a clever or effective retort; rejoinder; riposte:
That was a great comeback the comedian made to the hecklers.
Informal. a basis or cause of complaint:
If you insist on buying these pointed shoes, you'll have no comeback when your toes start to hurt.
Origin of comeback
1815-25; noun use of verb phrase come back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for comeback
  • And they're all wondering what they're going to do to make a comeback.
  • Handwritten notes are making a comeback, but not strictly as a means of communication.
  • Since that time, the birds have made a remarkable comeback.
  • While part of the sea is making a comeback, photos show how bad the damage once was.
  • Everyone loves a good comeback story, but sometimes a storyline emerges prematurely.
  • The author's fowl defy the blogosphere and stage a comeback.
  • Both candidates could lose next year and have time left for a comeback.
  • People are out of work and they're hurting-wondering what they going to do to make a comeback.
  • When electronic technology turned the world into a global village, tribal odors would make a comeback, too.
  • Indeed, the original supermodels seem to be making something of a comeback.
British Dictionary definitions for comeback


noun (informal)
a return to a former position, status, etc
a return or response, esp recriminatory
a quick reply; retort
verb (intransitive, adverb)
to return
to become fashionable again
to reply after a period of consideration: I'll come back to you on that next week
(US & Canadian) to argue back; retort
come back to someone, (of something forgotten) to return to someone's memory
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for comeback

"verbal retort," 1889, from come + back (adj.). Meaning "recovery, return to former position or condition after retirement or loss" is attested from 1908, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for comeback


  1. A quick and witty retort; a withering riposte: Dorothy Parker was famous for devastating comebacks (1889+)
  2. A regaining of success, fame, health, etc: He's trying another comeback at 38 (1908+)
  3. A customer who returns merchandise; also, the returning itself (1950s+ Salespersons)
  4. A response to a call: Thanks for your comeback, Dead Duck (1970s+ Citizens band)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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