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back-for·ma·tionor back formation (băk′fôr-mā′shən)
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Linguistics) the invention of a new word on the assumption that a familiar word is derived from it. The verbs edit and burgle were so created from editor and burglar
2. (Linguistics) a word formed by this process
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. the analogical creation of one word from another word that appears to be a derived or inflected form of the first by dropping the apparent affix or by modification.
2. a word so formed, as typewrite from typewriter.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.