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See more synonyms for backbite on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object), back·bit, back·bit·ten or (Informal) back·bit; back·bit·ing.
  1. to attack the character or reputation of (a person who is not present).
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verb (used without object), back·bit, back·bit·ten or (Informal) back·bit; back·bit·ing.
  1. to speak unfavorably or slanderously of a person who is not present.
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Origin of backbite

Middle English word dating back to 1125–75; see origin at back1, bite
Related formsback·bit·er, noun

Synonyms for backbite

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for backbiter

murderer, spy, terrorist, competitor, rival, guerrilla, agent, detractor, bandit, foe, villain, traitor, rebel, opposition, invader, criminal, adversary, antagonist, opponent, prosecutor

Examples from the Web for backbiter

Historical Examples of backbiter

  • The flatterer, the backbiter, the spy,—these find here a rich soil.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist

    Alexander Berkman

  • That's an end to Backbiter, the best horse 'twixt Pedee and the Savannah.

    Horse-Shoe Robinson

    John Pendleton Kennedy

  • Every one has his opportunity, and this robs the plotter and backbiter of his venom.

  • Nobody could call him a detractor or a backbiter or a talebearer or a liar.

    Bunyan Characters

    Alexander Whyte

  • There is yet one who is numbered among the asas, but whom some call the backbiter of the asas.

British Dictionary definitions for backbiter


verb -bites, -biting, -bit, -bitten or -bit
  1. to talk spitefully about (an absent person)
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Derived Formsbackbiter, noun
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