- to attack the character or reputation of (a person who is not present).
- to speak unfavorably or slanderously of a person who is not present.
Origin of backbite
SynonymsSee more synonyms for backbite on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for backbiting
Trouble seemed to arise not from big issues like race but from petty gossip and backbiting.Tupac Shakur’s Race-Killer Prison Pal Talks
July 29, 2014
Never mind recent reports of backbiting and fingerpointing within the Perry camp.Brownback: Rick Perry’s Just Like John McCain in 2008
January 4, 2012
The Koran warns against “backbiting,” and so does the Torah, which calls it “evil tongue.”When Gossip Is Good, from Scandals to Relationships
November 22, 2011
Of course, now that the reorganization is official, the speculation stops and the backbiting from disenchanted executives begins.7 Winners, 9 Losers at the New NBC
November 17, 2010
A Republican member looks past the current backbiting to the supposed GOP Majority next year.Paul Ryan Breaks Rank
September 26, 2010
The little settlement was a hot-bed of gossip, backbiting, and slander.A Half Century of Conflict - Volume I
Where does grudge-bearing, backbiting, or uncharitableness come in?Standards of Life and Service
T. H. Howard
Preciosa was upon trial for misdemeanor, and I for backbiting.When Grandmamma Was New
Their life is one round of lying and gossiping, of scolding and backbiting.
Is it possible, then, for backbiting to glide into religious communities?Fraternal Charity
Rev. Father Valuy
- to talk spitefully about (an absent person)
Word Origin and History for backbiting
c.1200, bacbitunge, from back (adj. or n.) + biting. Related: back-bite (v.), early 14c.; back-biter (c.1200).