back-formation

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Related to back-formations: 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 ?
Explaining various etymologies, word histories, word creations and word deaths, they cover such topics as baby talk, back-formations, neologisms, nonce words, euphemisms, prefixes and suffixes.
In other words, "[a]uthor's rights will thus appear as back-formations within the development of industrial copyright" (44).