back talk


: impudent, insolent, or argumentative replies

Examples of back talk in a Sentence

Don't give me any back talk! his mother sent him to his room because of his constant back talk
Recent Examples on the Web Don't have any back talk or anything like that. Abc News, ABC News, 26 July 2022 At least an eye roll or back talk? Dallas News, 14 July 2022 Then there's the back talk. Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2021 Her father, a Greek immigrant, didn’t tolerate back talk. Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2023 Learn how to raise responsible kids; put an end to arguing, back talk and begging; avoid power struggles; and preserve loving relationships with your children. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Oct. 2022 Any rebelliousness or back talk was considered witchcraft, and punished accordingly. Johnny Edwards, ajc, 17 June 2022 Watching Felton brings back talk of Duke Johnson following Hue Jackson around to meetings in 2017. Scott Patsko, cleveland, 31 July 2021 The audience’s engagement with the play itself, a recent hit Off Broadway, was likewise palpable, with hoots and gasps and back talk that enhanced the comedy as well as the dramatic turns. Jesse Green, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'back talk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1832, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of back talk was in 1832

Dictionary Entries Near back talk

Cite this Entry

“Back talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

back talk

: a rude or quarrelsome reply
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