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

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THESE WORDS FROM BROWN GIRL DREAMING!

Visualize yourself passing this quiz on words from Jacqueline Woodson’s exquisite verse novel “Brown Girl Dreaming,” and then take the quiz to prove you can do it! (Because you can.)
Question 1 of 10
What does “barren” mean?

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