Backstab

Backstab is a closed compound word. We will examine the meaning of the word backstab, its etymology, and some examples of its use in a sentence or two.

Backstab is a verb that means to betray someone or to attack someone verbally in a deceitful manner. Most often, one backstabs someone else by spreading rumor or innuendo, performing a deceitful act, or being pleasant to the victim’s face while ruining his reputation or opportunities behind his back. The compound word backstab is a combination of the words back and stab. Though many attribute the use of the word backstab to the manner in which Julius Caesar was assassinated, the term did not come into use until the latter 1800s. Related words are backstabs, backstabbed, backstabbing, backstabber.

Examples

“But he tried to backstab him like Chandrababu did (with then Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao) to grab the CM post.” (Deccan Chronicle

But the blocking of his ally Savannah, as well as his role as the anonymous Joker, served as his villain origin story, prompting Courtney to vow to wreak vengeance on anyone who had wronged her — even if he’d have to lie and backstab in the process. (Rolling Stone)

You may be silently influenced by such negative talk about a backstabbing boss, but you can’t go wrong if you ask your boss the key questions: How can I improve my work performance? (BusinessWorld)

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