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

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 Instead of using the power of language to cast flawed but inherently decent protagonists in a saintly glow, the creators have gathered a despicable cast of characters — and keep piling on the backstabbing, setbacks and humiliations. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "HBO’s ‘Succession’ is a cruel catharsis, and perfect for our swampy time," 1 June 2018 Not only would this mean Sansa would be free from the creepy middle-aged man chasing after her for the last six seasons, but House Stark would avoid any nasty conflicts or sneaky backstabbing plans which could potentially bring it to ruin. Chanel Vargas, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Game of Thrones Fan Theory Gives Sinister Meaning to Arya and Sansa's Feud," 23 Aug. 2017 Journalists have continually described the backstabbing among Trump staffers as something out of Martin’s five-plus fantasy tomes. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump White House Drama Changes Drastically – But Is Still Just Like Game of Thrones," 29 May 2018 Basically Knoll creates a sisterhood of the backstabbing kind. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "'Real Housewives'-type show is star of Jessica Knoll's juicy 'The Favorite Sister'," 14 May 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

3 Jun 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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behavior toward others

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