back talk


Definition of back talk

: impudent, insolent, or argumentative replies

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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 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, "54% of the People. 12% of the Plays. Atlanta, Do We Have a Problem?," 18 Mar. 2020 Flo from Alice This sassy Texas waitress wouldn’t take any back talk or nonsense from the customers at the diner. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "Fictional Southern Characters That We'd Want as Our Very Best Friends," 5 Apr. 2020 And the Roborock won’t give you any sassy back talk like Rosie. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "This Hybrid Robot Handles Two Chores At Once," 24 June 2019 After a week off, Gov. Ned Lamont is back talking about tolls, this time convening a meeting at the state Capitol to continue discussions ahead of a potential tolls vote this summer. Russell Blair,, "Capitol Week in Review: Gov. Ned Lamont offers a tax cut for tolls, Nancy Pelosi comes to Hartford," 21 June 2019 His message is always the same: No fouls, no bad conduct, and whatever happens, no back talk to the referees. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Uruguay: Soccer’s Dead Poets Society," 29 June 2018 It will be broken down into two back-to-back talks, one with drama writers, and another with comedy writers., ""Shame On You." Celebs & Writers React To 90% Male Hollywood Panel," 6 June 2018 In back-to-back talks, Lundin made the case for FODMAPs, and Alaedini for an immune reaction. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "What’s really behind ‘gluten sensitivity’?," 23 May 2018 Barbish reacted with hostility to her sudden back talk. Michael Lapointe, The Atlantic, "The Twisted Tale of the World’s Largest Pearl," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'back talk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of back talk

1832, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for back talk

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The first known use of back talk was in 1832

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Cite this Entry

“Back talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for back talk

back talk


English Language Learners Definition of back talk

US, informal : rude speech in reply to someone who should be spoken to with respect

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