Definition of back and fill in English:

back and fill


  • 1Trim the sails of a vessel so that the wind alternately fills and spills out of them, in order to maneuver in a limited space.

    • ‘Sure, they make compromises and back and fill with the wind.’
    1. 1.1Zigzag or vacillate.
      • ‘Even as she wants to advance boldly, therefore, she is required by the evidence to back and fill, leaving the reader with a bewildering combination of affirmation and qualification.’