Definition of backbiting in English:



  • [mass noun] Malicious talk about someone who is not present:

    ‘members have grown tired of the backbiting in the group’
    [as modifier] ‘there were backbiting accusations among some sections of the press’
    • ‘Instead of continued squabbling and backbiting, all parties concerned should now concentrate their efforts on what lies ahead and not make the entire public health profession continue to suffer.’
    • ‘He advised people against indulging in backbiting.’
    • ‘Many of them have bad or at least petty motives - backbiting, the desire to gossip or trade in information for advantage, revenge.’
    • ‘He's had it up to here (source pointed at the middle of their forehead) with the backbiting that goes on in the music industry.’
    • ‘There was tremendous in-fighting, factionalism, backbiting, accusations about whose guru was on the highest path and so on.’
    • ‘In recent years, both councils have descended into counterproductive bickering and backbiting far too often.’
    • ‘But backbiting by the Opposition leader did not sway the organisers.’
    • ‘As a result, backbiting and betrayal was kept to a minimum.’
    • ‘I hope he won't let the momentum gained here be drowned in yet more backbiting.’
    • ‘But people don't know the background of arguments and backbiting that has been going on over the state of the equipment and their refusal to give us concession prices.’
    • ‘The girls changed agents, changed publishers, and were, as you might expect, subject to a certain amount of backbiting and jealousy among the writing community.’
    • ‘They never use profane language, bear false witness, engage in slander, gossip or backbiting, or even listen to such debasing talk.’
    • ‘All it seems to achieve is in-fighting and backbiting and actually does more harm to community relations than good’.’
    • ‘Of course, by the end of the fortnight, this temporary relative calm will have descended into a tense mix of squabbling, resentment and backbiting, as our abject failure dawns on most of us.’
    • ‘‘I have never liked unfairness and backbiting,’ adds Fiennes.’
    • ‘It's that world of intrigue, of plotting, spin and backbiting that he will be bringing to life in his new weekly column for the Evening Press that begins tomorrow.’
    • ‘It seems that girls are engaging in more backbiting, gossip and trying to control other girls' behavior; often it becomes violent.’
    • ‘In the absence of coherent arguments, the discussion quickly descended into backbiting and spats.’
    • ‘Today, however, it looks more like public politics has entirely sunk to the level of petty personal backbiting, where government ministers can be judged on gossip rather than policy.’
    • ‘With little to occupy their inner lives, they settle on sophomoric backbiting and relentless self-aggrandisement as the closest achievable thing to an actually mature expression of emotion or contact between two human beings.’
    malicious talk, spiteful talk, slander, libel, defamation, abuse, character assassination, scandalmongering, disparagement, denigration, vilification, vituperation, calumny, revilement
    insults, slurs, aspersions
    bitching, bitchiness, cattiness, mud-slinging, bad-mouthing
    slagging off, slagging, rubbishing
    View synonyms