take a step back

Meaning(s)

1. stop for a period of time in order to consider something carefully

Popularity

High

Professional

High

Social

Check Icon How to Memorize

take a step back and think things through

Check Icon Analysis

When you 'take a step back' from something you distance yourself from something in order to gain perspective or to consider things more clearly. This expression probably originated from people stepping back from paintings in order to appreciate the overall picture. This is a popular idiomatic expression used in both social and professional contexts.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. Jane is taking a step back from her studies to giver herself the time to properly consider the direction she wants to go in life.
  2. She took a step back from the relationship to focus on her family.
  3. Let's step back from this argument for a moment and examine what's really going on

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. I feel we've been rushing into making this decision. Let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
  2. We've been stuck on this problem for a while now. I think it would help if we took a step back and looked at things from a different perspective.

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