backbite

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v backbite say mean things
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i Backbite To censure or revile the absent. "They are arrant knaves, and will backbite ."
    • v. t Backbite To wound by clandestine detraction; to censure meanly or spitefully (an absent person); to slander or speak evil of (one absent).
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • backbite To injure morally in a manner comparable to biting from behind; attack the character or reputation of secretly; censure, slander, or speak evil of in absence: rarely with a thing as object.
    • backbite To slander or speak evil of the absent.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Backbite to speak evil of any one behind his back or in his absence
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Quotations

  • Ambrose Bierce
    Ambrose%20Bierce
    “Backbite. To speak of a man as you find him when he can't find you.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
2d back, n. + bite,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. bæc, Sw. bak, Dan. bag.

Usage

In literature:

Here is something to confute the old backbiter,' and he clapped with his thick short hand a heavy leather pocket-book.
"The Immortal" by Alphonse Daudet
It is entitled "Salander," and has for its subject the backbiting dragon sometimes called by similar name.
"The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851" by Various
Where does grudge-bearing, backbiting, or uncharitableness come in?
"Standards of Life and Service" by T. H. Howard
They who were most benefited are often the first to most loudly complain and to backbite.
"The Toilers of the Field" by Richard Jefferies
The petty gossip and backbiting, so common in a small town, produce the very faults they seem to condemn.
"The Practice of Autosuggestion" by C. Harry Brooks
There's been a good deal of backbiting.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
To-day we just sit about and backbite.
"The Paliser case" by Edgar Saltus
He was a sneaking backbiter, and had a blood-hound scent after an attorney.
"Ten Thousand a-Year. Volume 1." by Samuel Warren
The whole sisterhood of backbiters was most cruelly checkmated, their vexation nearly choked them.
"Pretty Michal" by Mór Jókai
There are Goose Street and Backbiter's Alley.
"Belford's Magazine, Vol 2, December 1888" by Various
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In poetry:

Legs I have got, yet seldom do I walk;
I backbite many, yet I never talk:
In secret places most I seek to hide me,
For he who feeds me never can abide me.
"A Riddle" by Anonymous Americas

In news:

Jets' backbiting starts with Tim Tebow.
We knew the New York Jets' backbiting was coming.
Then, out of the blue, after three years of backbiting and seemingly daily financial crisis, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering peace on a continent long ravaged by war.
On Wednesday's conference call, their ranks slightly reduced by the election, House Republican leaders presented a united front, a departure from the backbiting of earlier showdowns, the leaders' aides admit.
It is so disappointing to see the people of this great community constantly bickering and backbiting regarding matters which seem insignificant to our longevity and prosperity.
If a moral does emerge from all the backbiting and prevarication in this comedy, it is that true love triumphs.
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