back-formation

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back-for·ma·tion

or back formation (băk′fôr-mā′shən)
n.
1. 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.
2. The process of forming words in this way.

back′-form′ (băk′fôrm′) v.
back′-formed′ (băk′fôrmd′) adj.

back-formation

The formation of a word by assuming it must be the root of an existing word, for example the verb “babysit” derived from the noun “babysitter.”
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.back-formation - a word invented (usually unwittingly by subtracting an affix) on the assumption that a familiar word derives from it
word - a unit of language that native speakers can identify; "words are the blocks from which sentences are made"; "he hardly said ten words all morning"
References in periodicals archive ?
Morph: It's a delightful sound, morph, which may account for the sudden popularity of this shortened version of metamorphosis or the back-formed verb metamorphose.