back-formation

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Coined by James Murray; back + formation

Noun[edit]

back-formation (plural back-formations)

  1. (uncountable, linguistics) The process by which a new word is formed by removing a morpheme (real or perceived) of an older word, such as the verb burgle, formed by removing -ar (perceived as a suffix forming an agent noun) from burglar.
  2. (countable) A word created in this way.
    Back-formations, such as "tambour" (for "play the tambourine"), are a staple of comedic wordplay.

Synonyms[edit]

  • (a word created by back-formation): back-form

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]