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

Drama is plentiful in Succession, which follows the backstabbing, ultra-rich adult children of the Roy family, who, along with Rupert Murdoch-like patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox), control one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "What TV Shows to Watch This August: From ‘BH90210’ and ‘GLOW’ to ‘Mindhunter’ and More," 1 Aug. 2019 The politics are cheap, but there’s enough intrigue and backstabbing and bipartisan drama for a hot summer’s worth of conspiracy theories. John Kass,, "Column: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta should resign over the Jeffrey Epstein deal," 12 July 2019 In April, the team president Magic Johnson abruptly stepped down, appearing on ESPN the next month to describe an organizational culture of infighting and backstabbing. Robert O'connell, The Atlantic, "Anthony Davis and LeBron James Are Uniquely Suited to Win," 17 June 2019 At least Tabitha and Moe are there to support Elodie in the very meta backstabbing. Ariana Romero,, "R29 Binge Club: Netflix’s Trinkets Recap," 15 June 2019 Ultimately, Margaret's son would reign as King James V. But not without some backstabbing and scandal. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "How Margaret Tudor Became One of the Most Influential Queens in British History," 20 May 2019 Through all the backstabbing and bed-hopping, the characters dress impeccably. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Cruel Intentions Is Still a Teenage Fashion Dream 20 Years On," 22 Mar. 2019 With a lot of intrigue and figurative backstabbing, the film can be seen as a sort of allegoric depiction of Julius Caesar's death. Atlanta Life, ajc, "Beware the Ides of March: Why do so many consider the day doomed?," 15 Mar. 2018 The potholed road to Imran Khan’s home in Islamabad curls for a mile up a steep hill, where the cricketer turned politician can escape the dust, fumes and backstabbing of Pakistan’s sprawling capital below. Time, "Cricket Hero Imran Khan Led Pakistan's Team to Victory. As a Politician, He's Riding a Populist Wave," 28 June 2018

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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Statistics for backstabbing

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for backstabbing

The first known use of backstabbing was in 1855

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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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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