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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about back-formation

Dictionary Entries near back-formation

backflip

backflow

back focus

back-formation

back forty

backfriend

back-front

Statistics for back-formation

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for back-formation

The first known use of back-formation was in 1888

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on back-formation

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about back-formation

Comments on back-formation

What made you want to look up back-formation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!