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  1. Banned
    Student or Learner
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2014
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    #1

    Back Off

    Need some help with this:

    "But disapproval has backed off from 63 percent in November to 54 percent now, while approval for his work on the rollout is up by 11 points, including six points this month, to 44 percent."

    Based on the usage in the sentence, "back off" seems to mean "decrease". But I looked up several dictionaries and couldn't find a definition that match this usage. Could the sentence be wrong then?


    Context: news.yahoo.com/49-percent-support-obamacare-hits-high-211806422--abc-news-politics.html

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Back Off

    It's not the most natural way to express it, but it's understandable, so it's hard to call it wrong.

  3. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 1,099
    #3

    Re: Back Off

    If it's not the most natural way, what would you say?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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      • British English
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 41,912
    #4

    Re: Back Off

    Decreased
    Gone down
    Reduced
    Shrunk
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #5

    Re: Back Off

    I would call it wrong. The phrasal verb "back off" means to retreat or back away.

    The local bully backed off when I stood up to him.
    My attorney convinced the disgruntled client to back off.

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