back formation


noun Linguistics.

the analogical creation of one word from another word that appears to be a derived or inflected form of the first by dropping the apparent affix or by modification.
a word so formed, as typewrite from typewriter.

QUIZZES

CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?

Did you collect all of last week’s words, but eftsoons forget what they mean? Don’t worry, we’re here to jog your memory. See how many words from the week of May 18 to 24 you can get right!
Question 1 of 7
weal

Origin of back formation

First recorded in 1885–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for back formation

back formation

noun

the invention of a new word on the assumption that a familiar word is derived from it. The verbs edit and burgle were so created from editor and burglar
a word formed by this process
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012