draw back


a hindrance or disadvantage; an undesirable or objectionable feature.
Commerce. an amount paid back from a charge made.
Government. a refund of tariff or other tax, as when imported goods are reexported.

1610–20; noun use of verb phrase draw back

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World English Dictionary
drawback (ˈdrɔːˌbæk)
1.  a disadvantage or hindrance
2.  a refund of customs or excise duty paid on goods that are being exported or used in the production of manufactured exports
vb (often foll by from)
3.  to retreat; move backwards
4.  to turn aside from an undertaking

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"hindrance, disadvantage,"1720, from draw + back. The notion is of something that "holds back" success or activity.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

draw back

  1. Retreat, as in The heckler drew back into the crowd to avoid being identified. [c. 1300]

  2. Withdraw from an undertaking, as in I was too deeply committed to draw back now. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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