Phrasal verb "back off"

Hey folks!

This is me again…

I wonder if you could explain me a little bit the phrasal verb “back off”. Obviously, I already looked it up, and here is its definition: “to stop being involved in a situation, usually in order to allow other people to deal with it themselves”. (Taken from Cambridge dictionary) Even though, for me that meaning is not clear enough, 'cause it doesn’t tell me in what situations I must use it. I mean, for example, would you use it when someone mocks you? or you’d use it when you are cool with everybody, is that right?..How come? I don’t get it! So, please help me out guys…


I my-self surf the net for 5(mins) and got all these meanings of back off:

  1. Back off (no object): not follow a threat.

“Tom was ready to call the police when I told him I’d wrecked his car, but he backed off when I said I’d pay for the damages.”

  1. Back off: Retreat

The police told the protesters to BACK OFF.

  1. BACK OFF: to retreat; not follow a threat
    That car was following me closely, but finally it backed off.

  2. Back off

to move backwards away from someone or something, usually because you are afraid
I saw his knife and backed off.

(slightly informal) to stop being involved in a situation, especially in order to allow other people to deal with it themselves
Just back off and let us do this on our own, will you? [often an order]
I thought I’d better back off and leave her to make her mind up.

(mainly American) to stop supporting something that you used to support, or to not continue with a plan
The president seems to have backed off from his ‘no new taxes’ promise. [usually + from]

(From Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs)

So upon my knowledge, I think you can use it in both situations someone mocks you and when you are cool with everybody. The evaluation is left for our moderators and correct me if I am wrong.