eat one's words

Idioms & Phrases

eat one's words

Be forced to retract something one has said, as in The incumbent won easily, so I had to eat my words. This expression was already proverbial in John Ray's English Proverbs (1670). [Second half of 1500s]

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