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[draw-bak] /ˈdrɔˌbæk/
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.
Origin of drawback
1610-20; noun use of verb phrase draw back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for draw back
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And then the two of them draw back the curtains on the second scene.

    The Harlequinade Dion Clayton Calthrop
  • Mrs. Bellew did not kiss him, neither did she draw back her face.

    The Country House John Galsworthy
  • And she responded in the same manner; she did not draw back when their arms accidentally met.

    Mountain Blood Joseph Hergesheimer
  • Now, whatever happened, he could not draw back; it was too late for explanations.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • But it was too late to draw back; the die was cast, for life or for death; home was before me, however distant!

  • My burden is heavy, my heart is breaking, but I must draw back now.

    The Champdoce Mystery Emile Gaboriau
  • This was inconvenient; and his mother made him draw back his stool a good way.

    The Crofton Boys Harriet Martineau
  • She felt that it was an impossibility to draw back from her present position.

    Germinie Lacerteux Edmond and Jules de Goncourt
  • I saw the girl flush crimson, then turn deadly white, and draw back as if his hand had struck her a sudden blow.

    In the Days of My Youth Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards
British Dictionary definitions for draw back


a disadvantage or hindrance
a refund of customs or excise duty paid on goods that are being exported or used in the production of manufactured exports
verb (intransitive, adverb) often foll by from
to retreat; move backwards
to turn aside from an undertaking
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 draw back



"hindrance, disadvantage,"1720, from draw (v.) + back (adv.). The notion is of something that "holds back" success or activity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with draw back

draw back

Retreat, as in The heckler drew back into the crowd to avoid being identified. [ c. 1300 ]
Withdraw from an undertaking, as in I was too deeply committed to draw back now. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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