back·​mask·​ing | \ ˈbak-ˌma-skiŋ How to pronounce backmasking (audio) \
plural backmaskings

Definition of backmasking

: the encoding of audio materials (such as words conveying a secret message) on a recording in such a way that they can only be heard and understood when the recording is played backwards Of the new bills, Rhode Island's is unique in that it calls for several different labels, including one that says "parental warning: this record contains backmasking that makes a verbal statement when this program is played backwards" …— Richard Harrington, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 1990

called also backward masking

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of backmasking

1982, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About backmasking

Time Traveler for backmasking

Time Traveler

The first known use of backmasking was in 1982

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near backmasking



back matter

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for backmasking

Cite this Entry

“Backmasking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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