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 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 The front office was known for a culture of leaks and backstabbing, and McDaniels and Caserio believed that better offers would come their way. Ben Volin,, "49ers will forever be grateful to the Patriots," 1 Feb. 2020 After 39 seasons of backstabbing and chicanery, Survivor finally conceded that a community without any purpose beyond winning can turn depraved and cry out for outside intervention. Noam Cohen, Wired, "The TV Show ‘Survivor’ Can Help Us Understand Impeachment," 17 Dec. 2019 To justify his backstabbing of America’s Kurdish allies in Syria, President Donald Trump cherry-picked a line from a op-ed that supported his stance. Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review, "The Problem with Trump’s ‘Normandy Doctrine’," 11 Oct. 2019 And while there's not much to envy about Logan and his ilk (all the backstabbing, manipulative, and self-imploding antics see to that), there is one covetable aspect of the Roy lifestyle: their wardrobes. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "Succession's Costume Designer Explains How to Look Really, Really Rich," 14 Oct. 2019 Vidal gives wicked, witty renditions of the infighting, backstabbing and vainglory of such troublesome men as Gen. George B. McClellan, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase and John Wilkes Booth. Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, "Gore Vidal’s ‘Lincoln’ and other best audiobooks for summer’s end," 29 Aug. 2019

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

20 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Backstabbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

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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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