The definition of back-formation is a word created by removing a part of another word, or the process of how this new word is made.
An example of back-formation is the word babysit from babysitter.
- a word actually formed from, but seeming to be the base of, another word (Ex.: burgle from burglar)
- the process of forming such a word
or back formation
- A new word created by removing an affix from an already existing word, as vacuum clean from vacuum cleaner, or by removing what is mistakenly thought to be an affix, as bicep from the English plural biceps.
- The process of forming words in this way.
- Alternative spelling of back-formation.
- (uncountable, linguistics) The process by which a new word is formed by removing a morpheme (real or perceived) of an older word, such as the verb burgle, formed by removing -ar (perceived as a suffix forming an agent noun) from burglar.
- (countable) A word created in this way.
- Back-formations, such as "tambour" (for "play the tambourine"), are a staple of comedic wordplay.
(plural back formations)
- (linguistics) Alternative spelling of backformation.