verb (used without object)

  1. to return over the same course or route.
  2. to withdraw from an undertaking, position, etc.; reverse a policy.

verb (intr)

  1. to return by the same route by which one has come
  2. to retract or reverse one’s opinion, action, policy, etc

“retrace one’s steps,” figuratively, by 1896, from literal sense, with reference to hunted foxes, from back (adv.) + track (v.). Related: Backtracked; backtracking.

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