from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb hunting Of hounds, to retrace a course in order to pick up a lost scent.
  • verb figuratively, US To return or revert (to a subject etc.), to allude to, to evoke, to long or pine for (a past event or era).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb go back to something earlier


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Originally a hunting command, literally “Listen! Go back!”, thence a term to refer to the process. In the 19th century US became used in a figurative sense “to go back to an earlier point or topic in a discussion”. In 20th century American usage used more loosely for references to the past (often historical past, rather than earlier in a given discussion), particularly nostalgic.


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