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 backstabbing (audio) \ verb
She was known to backstab her coworkers
backstabber \ ˈbak-​ˌsta-​bər How to pronounce backstabbing (audio) \ noun
He had a reputation as a gossiper and backstabber.
backstabby \ ˈbak-​ˌsta-​bē How to pronounce backstabbing (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 new series will likely be full of new heartbreaks, betrayals, backstabbing, with an all-new cast of wealthy Gen Z private schoolers who take to Instagram instead of the blogosphere to hash out their interpersonal drama. Sage Anderson, Rolling Stone, 7 July 2021 Of course, this speech would have been better if Strand had actually plotted some clever betrayal or carried out some dastardly backstabbing maneuver to save his own skin at the expense of others. Erik Kain, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Although its tone is much lighter than that of the pitch-black Flack, the agents’ efforts to get contracts signed and actors on set can require similarly shrewd manipulation, elaborate lies, interoffice backstabbing. Judy Berman, Time, 11 June 2021 Survivor is a cutthroat, deceiving, backstabbing game. Dalton Ross,, 7 May 2021 On the surface, it’s all backstabbing and table-flipping—a show filled with tiny dogs and massive diamonds. Ilana Kaplan, Town & Country, 5 May 2021 Code Geass has sci-fi combat, bureaucratic backstabbing, teen comedy, and a future in which imperialism and caste systems keep the populace underfoot. Eric Vilas-boas, Vulture, 5 Apr. 2021 This could be as serious as a backstabbing betrayal from a friend or as simple as your child forgetting to take dinner out to thaw. Tarot Astrologers,, 27 Mar. 2021 The Romans passed down to us many treasures, from their games to distract the mob, to their ruthless backstabbing politics, architecture and the law. John Kass,, 13 Mar. 2021

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

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Backstabbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for backstabbing



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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