stab in the back


stab in the back

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a disloyalty
  • to deceive someone’s faith
  • an action of extreme betrayal
  • to deceive or betray someone who trusted you
  • to ruin the reputation of a known person secretly
  • a harmful act against someone who had faith in you
  • an unfaithful act that causes a big loss of one’s reputation, money or happiness

Example Sentences

  1. I have done everything for her, but she left me because of that guy, she stabbed in my back.
  2. Voting against the bill on reservation for the villagers of Scotland at the last minute was a real stab in the back.
  3. I believed that she was my friend. I can’t believe that she stabbed me in the back.
  4. You need to watch out for the new kid. I heard that he will stab you in the back without a second thought.
  5. Filing a false case of domestic violence against her husband was a stab in the back.


The term originated in Germany just after World War I. The first reported use of it can be found in a report from England printed in ‘Neue Züricher Zeitung’ on 1 December 1918.

“As far as the German army is concerned the general view is summarised in these words: It was stab-in-the-back by the civilian population.”

The German army felt that they had been betrayed by the politicians who signed The Treaty of Versailles. It was clear by this point that they were no match for the other side and defeat was inevitable. However, the army did not believe this and blamed the Jewish politicians for their loss. The story was perpetuated by Adolf Hitler when he was rising to power. He used this “stabbed in the back” story to gain followers. Even though an inquiry proved that the story was not true, it became a part of German history.

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Feeling of betrayal

‒ Anonymous March 5, 2021

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