backbite

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bakbiten, bacbiten, equivalent to back +‎ bite. Cognate with Icelandic bakbíta (to backbite, vilify).

Verb[edit]

backbite (third-person singular simple present backbites, present participle backbiting, simple past backbit, past participle backbitten)

  1. To make spiteful slanderous or defamatory statements about someone.
  2. (informal) To attack from behind or when out of earshot with spiteful or defamatory remarks.
  3. To speak badly of an absent individual.

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Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

backbite (plural backbites)

  1. One who engages in backbiting; a backbiter.