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 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 Defense attorneys for Lundergan and Emmons attempted to characterize Hurst as a backstabbing liar in the trial to discredit his testimony, which ultimately turned out to be unsuccessful. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "What to know about the Jerry Lundergan and Dale Emmons convictions," 13 Sep. 2019 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

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

7 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Backstabbing.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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