back·​stab·​bing | \ ˈbak-ˌsta-biŋ How to pronounce backstabbing (audio) \

Definition of backstabbing

: betrayal (as by a verbal attack against one not present) especially by a false friend

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Other Words from backstabbing

backstab \ ˈbak-​ˌstab How to pronounce backstab (audio) \ verb
She was known to backstab her coworkers
backstabber \ ˈbak-​ˌsta-​bər How to pronounce backstabber (audio) \ noun
He had a reputation as a gossiper and backstabber.
backstabby \ ˈbak-​ˌsta-​bē How to pronounce backstabby (audio) \ adjective, informal
competitive backstabby people

Examples of backstabbing in a Sentence

She was hurt by her former friend's backstabbing. a reality TV show that seems to have raised backstabbing to an art form
Recent Examples on the Web During Johnson’s leadership, the Lobby has become a hotbed of government leaks, secret briefings, and political backstabbing. Jay Elwes, National Review, "From Trump to Biden: Boris Johnson’s New Look," 19 Nov. 2020 Riedel, however, is at this best with backstabbing and betrayal. Los Angeles Times, "Review: How Broadway got to boom times, from a veteran theater gossip," 18 Nov. 2020 These 10 new episodes contain so much backstabbing and incendiary gossip that a scene like Philip and Charles' bleak father-son détente will barely register. Caroline Framke,, "‘The Crown’ review: Taking on Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher in splashiest season yet," 14 Nov. 2020 The lawsuit came after Mary Trump, daughter of Trump's older brother, Freddy, published a memoir portraying a dysfunctional family preoccupied with petty grievances, backstabbing and money. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "'Vulnerable to prosecution': When Trump leaves White House, presidential 'cloak of immunity' goes away," 7 Nov. 2020 All Access or FuboTV (free trial). Prepare yourself for the backstabbing, alliance building, backdoor exits and twists and turns when familiar faces return the 22nd season of Big Brother. Katey Clifford, cleveland, "‘Big Brother: All Stars’ | How to watch the live premiere," 5 Aug. 2020 The late Roman empire—still encircling the Mediterranean but divided into eastern and western spheres—was held together by bribery, accommodation, backstabbing, and force of arms. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, "The Man Who Sacked Rome," 9 June 2020 None of the ugliness of Worlds Apart or Kaoh Rong permeated the proceedings, even amongst all the lying and backstabbing. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Winners at War recap: Double elimination smackdown!," 7 May 2020 The answer to that involves a decades-long rivalry, accusations of backstabbing, a mess of acronyms and Malaysia's sometimes fraught religious and ethnic divides. James Griffiths, CNN, "Malaysian politics has been plunged into chaos, it may take a long time to recover," 25 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backstabbing.' 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 backstabbing

1855, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for backstabbing

Time Traveler

The first known use of backstabbing was in 1855

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Statistics for backstabbing

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backstabbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for backstabbing


How to pronounce backstabbing (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backstabbing

US : harmful and unfair things that are said or done to hurt the reputation of someone

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