back·​stab·​bing ˈbak-ˌsta-biŋ How to pronounce backstabbing (audio)
: betrayal (as by a verbal attack against one not present) especially by a false friend
backstab verb
She was known to backstab her coworkers
backstabber noun
He had a reputation as a gossiper and backstabber.
backstabby 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 irony of this shouldn’t be lost, as Nintendo’s infamous backstabbing of Sony in the Nineties directly led to the launch of the PlayStation, dethroning the Big N in Machiavellian fashion for a decade until the Wii waggled their way back into relevance. Christopher Cruz, Rolling Stone, 11 Nov. 2023 Survivor 41's Danny McCray and Survivor: Cagayan's Sarah Lacina withstood the backstabbing and climbing across moving trucks on pegs to be The Challenge: USA's first winners. Keith Nelson, Men's Health, 17 Aug. 2023 There was plenty of incoherence, sure, a great number of poor decisions, and too much backstabbing. James Robins, The New Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 But the bombshells have been coming fast and furious since the backdoor pilot — focused on a Housewife’s ex-husband romancing a Sur waitress — and produced, in its early seasons, an almost Shakespearean amount of backstabbing. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2023 Yes, there are insults aplenty, and the requisite amount of backstabbing. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 29 May 2023 And, for better or for worse, there was no backstabbing among the bakers. Mikey O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 June 2023 After years of personal and professional humiliation, and of nonstop scheming and marital backstabbing, the man who once sucked up to Logan Roy by buying him a Patek Philippe watch became his official successor. Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times, 29 May 2023 All that maneuvering, back-channeling and backstabbing may end up ruining everyone’s shot at the top spot, which would be the greatest irony of all. Jp Mangalindan, Peoplemag, 26 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backstabbing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of backstabbing was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near backstabbing

Cite this Entry

“Backstabbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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