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backbite

[bak-bahyt] /ˈbækˌbaɪt/
verb (used with object), backbit, backbitten or (Informal) backbit; backbiting.
1.
to attack the character or reputation of (a person who is not present).
verb (used without object), backbit, backbitten or (Informal) backbit; backbiting.
2.
to speak unfavorably or slanderously of a person who is not present.
Origin
1125-1175
1125-75; Middle English; see back1, bite
Related forms
backbiter, noun
Synonyms
1. belittle, disparage, deprecate; slander, libel, defame.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for backbiting

backbite

/ˈbækˌbaɪt/
verb -bites, -biting, -bit, -bitten, -bit
1.
to talk spitefully about (an absent person)
Derived Forms
backbiter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for backbiting
n.

c.1200, bacbitunge, from back (adj. or n.) + biting. Related: back-bite (v.), early 14c.; back-biter (c.1200).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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backbiting in the Bible

In Ps. 15:3, the rendering of a word which means to run about tattling, calumniating; in Prov. 25:23, secret talebearing or slandering; in Rom. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 12:20, evil-speaking, maliciously defaming the absent.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Difficulty index for backbite

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for backbiting

21
26
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