If you read American newspapers, you might see the word “pushback.” Here’s a recent headline (title of newspaper story) from the website Politico:

Trump cranks up (increases) his pushback against Dems (Democrats) demanding his tax returns

The noun pushback refers to a negative reaction to a policy, idea, or rule.

Pushback can also mean people doing something to try to stop whatever policy, idea, or rule they don’t like.

In other words, pushback is resistance or a fight against a new change that has been proposed. It’s usually the people who are or will be affected who do the pushing back.

If the government wants to raise taxes, they will probably get a lot of pushback from people like you and me. You might read the headline:

Pushback from homeowners ended the city’s plans to raise property taxes. (Property taxes are the taxes you pay to the government if you own a home.)

If the principal (leader of a school) wants to add an extra hour to the school day, there might be pushback from the students: “Plans to start school an hour earlier each day resulted in a lot of pushback from parents and students.”

If I tell my wife I plan to buy at new TV with a screen the size of our house, I’ll probably get some pushback…maybe some pushing back right out the door!

The opposite of a pushback is “support.”

I might get support from my buddies (friends) who would like to watch the baseball game on my house-size TV.

There’s another definition of “pushback” you might find at an airport.

When an airplane moves backwards (in reverse) from the terminal (where passengers get on the plane) in order to get to the runway where it takes off (leaves the ground), that action of making the plane go backwards is also called “pushback.”

On a plane, you might hear an announcement such as “Before we can begin our pushback, all passengers must be seated.”

You can also express this idea of pushback as a verb, to push back. (Notice the verb is two words and the noun is one word.)

When someone “pushes” you (tries to move you from your position), you can push back, that is, “push” or react to that person’s actions.


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