back-formation

noun

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

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of back-formation was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near back-formation

Cite this Entry

“Back-formation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/back-formation. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on back-formation

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