Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To attack (someone) unfairly, especially in an underhand, deceitful manner: "Some backstab each other and threaten to settle their differences with a punch” ( Thomas Boswell).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to attack someone (especially verbally) unfairly in a deceitful, underhand, or treacherous manner, especially when they're not present in the place or situation that it happens. (as if stabbing them in the back). See backbite.

Etymologies

back + stab (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At a glance, it may seem like the profession is simply an Imperial analogue to the smuggler, but the agent focuses more on assassination skills that include both close-range "backstab" - style stealth melee and long-range sniper shots.

    GameSpot's News, Screenshots, Movies, Reviews, Previews, Downloads, and Features

  • Greens are immune to poison and have a "backstab" ability in combat, whereas blues can swim and are the only ones who can damage magical enemies.

    Overlord

  • The acting defense chief reminded AFP officers and soldiers not to "backstab" each other when subjected to a loyalty check.

    WN.com - Articles related to Aquino says Philippines to be more investor friendly

  • (Thieves were sort of a nuker, in some ways - they were used to initiate combat with a "backstab" attack that did up to quadruple damage - they then they had to get out of the way!

    Raph's Website

  • But who wants to see a bunch of tech geeks wax philosophic about the future of privacy trends and online advertising strategy when you can watch them backstab each other and hook up with groupies in bathroom stalls instead?

    Jessica Massa: The Social Network: Where Are All the Girls?

  • The academics are treating it as fraud but psychologically it's classic abuse: find someone kind, build them up, wait until they trust you and then manipulate, backstab, exploit and betray them.

    Bidisha's thought for the day: internet dating

  • I suspect that there are people out there studying his strategy and trying to solve the enigma — how do you scheme and backstab and plot and connive your way to the end and still have more than a couple of people willing to vote for you?

    Several movies : Bev Vincent

  • C.I.A. is full of fake bitches trying to backstab you when they can.

    Recipe for Love

  • The first lessons in life were pretty simple: never rat anyone out, never snitch, and never backstab your neighbor.

    Fallin’ Up

  • The ABC show — in which former The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants hook up and backstab each other to win money — was bested in the demo by Fox's prime-time tandem of Hell's Kitchen (6.51 million viewers, 2.7 rating) and MasterChef (5.52 million, 2.3).

    Ratings: A Solid Launch for Bachelor Pad Season 2

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