back-formation

noun
back-for·​ma·​tion | \ ˈbak-fȯr-ˈmā-shən How to pronounce back-formation (audio) \

Definition of back-formation

1 : a word formed by subtraction of a real or supposed affix from an already existing longer word (such as burgle from burglar)
2 : the formation of back-formations

First Known Use of back-formation

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of back-formation was in 1888

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back focus

back-formation

back forty

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Cite this Entry

“Back-formation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/back-formation. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on back-formation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about back-formation

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