back-formation


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Related to back-formation: Word formation

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 ?
Rather, she examines ancient literary, epigraphic, numismatic, and artistic evidence to traduce the ways in which modern assumptions of ethnicity, nationhood, and collective identity may have caused the back-formation, rather than the discovery, of an ancient people.
Back-formation is used when new words develop from other words by reducing them.
To this end, it 'may mean steering readers from a modern back-formation of piety and allegory where none exists, as well as providing a reliable and well-informed sense of the knowledge and cultural capital represented by Christianity for the original writers and audiences of romance' (p.
His name is explained by Bollee as a back-formation via Prakrit Pasa/Passa from the reduced form (U)pasva(sena) which links the tirthankara to a "mythical serpent prince" who is the son of the naga king Asvasena.
Under the heading of "Reanalysis," Adams discusses some affixes, back-formation, blending, and shortening.