Circle back


      • Return to a previous topic or idea in a conversation or meeting
        When discussing a topic or making a decision, if new information arises or further discussion is needed, someone may suggest to "circle back" to that topic or idea at a later time in order to fully address it.

      • Go back to a previous location or point in time
        When traveling or reflecting on past events, someone may mention the phrase "circle back" to indicate the act of physically returning to a previous place or mentally revisiting a past moment.

      • Contact someone again after a previous attempt was unsuccessful
        In business or personal relationships, if someone has tried to reach out to someone else without success, they may say they will "circle back" to that person in the future to try to re-establish communication.

      • Close a loop or complete a task that was left unfinished
        When working on a project or completing a task, if there are loose ends or unfinished components, someone may mention "circling back" to ensure everything is completed and nothing is missed.

    Examples of Circle back

    • After our initial meeting, I'll circle back with more detailed information about our proposed partnership.

      This idiom means to return to a previous topic or conversation at a later time. It can be used in a variety of contexts, from business to personal relationships. In this example, the speaker is promising to provide more information about a proposed partnership after an initial meeting. By saying they will "circle back," they are implying that they will not forget about the topic and will revisit it at a later time.


    The idiom "circle back" is commonly used in conversation and is a versatile phrase with various meanings. It can be used to refer to returning to a previous topic or idea, physically going back to a previous location, contacting someone again, or completing unfinished tasks. It is often used in business or work settings, but can also be used in casual conversations.

    Origin of "Circle back"

    The origin of the idiom "circle back" is rooted in the literal meaning of the phrase. In the late 19th century, the term was used in horse racing to describe the act of returning to the starting point after completing a lap. This evolved to also mean returning to a previous point or location.

    In the 20th century, the phrase became more commonly used in business or organizational contexts. It was used to refer to the act of revisiting a topic or task in order to ensure that all aspects were addressed and nothing was overlooked. This meaning has carried over to present day usage of the idiom.

    Today, "circle back" is a widely used phrase in both formal and informal conversations. Its origins in horse racing have been largely forgotten and it has taken on a more abstract meaning, referring to the act of returning or revisiting in a figurative sense.