verb (used with object), back·stabbed, back·stab·bing.
  1. to attempt to discredit (a person) by underhanded means, as innuendo, accusation, or the like.

Origin of backstab

First recorded in 1920–25; back2 + stab
Related formsback·stab·ber, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for back-stabbing

Contemporary Examples of back-stabbing

  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show: The Happy, Back-Stabbing Homemaker Before White played a golden girl, she played a mean girl.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Betty White’s 15 Funniest Moments

    The Daily Beast Video

    January 17, 2010

British Dictionary definitions for back-stabbing


  1. actions or remarks that are treacherous and likely to cause harm to a person, esp a friend or colleague
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