[ bak-bahyt ]
See synonyms for: backbitebackbitingbackbiter on

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).

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.

Origin of backbite

Middle English word dating back to 1125–75; see origin at back1, bite

Other words for backbite

Other words from backbite

  • backbiter, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use backbite in a sentence

  • The widow was no gossip, no backbiter, but a woman of opinions and a nimble tongue undeterred by fear or favor.

    Sudden Jim | Clarence Budington Kelland
  • I know thee for a liar, a deceiver, a backbiter, and a spirit of insatiable malevolence.

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

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
  • Would the slanderer, or backbiter, or hypocrite, indulge their habits if they realized this truth?

  • Here is something to confute the old backbiter,' and he clapped with his thick short hand a heavy leather pocket-book.

    The Immortal | Alphonse Daudet

British Dictionary definitions for backbite


/ (ˈbækˌbaɪt) /

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

Derived forms of backbite

  • backbiter, 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