to attack the character or reputation of (a person who is not present).
to speak unfavorably or slanderously of a person who is not present.
Historical Examples

The widow was no gossip, no backbiter, but a woman of opinions and a nimble tongue undeterred by fear or favor.
Sudden Jim Clarence Budington Kelland

There is yet one who is numbered among the asas, but whom some call the backbiter of the asas.
The Younger Edda Snorre

Every one has his opportunity, and this robs the plotter and backbiter of his venom.
Socialism and Democracy in Europe Samuel P. Orth

Would the slanderer, or backbiter, or hypocrite, indulge their habits if they realized this truth?
The Wesleyan Methodist Pulpit in Malvern Knowles King

Nobody could call him a detractor or a backbiter or a talebearer or a liar.
Bunyan Characters Alexander Whyte

It was therefore agreeable to find one of the Mystery detractors actually named backbiter.
The Grotesque in Church Art T. Tindall Wildridge

That’s an end to backbiter, the best horse ‘twixt Pedee and the Savannah.
Horse-Shoe Robinson John Pendleton Kennedy

He was no backbiter; he refrained, even with me, from hostile criticism of other actors.
McClure’s Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, August, 1893 Various

The flatterer, the backbiter, the spy,—these find here a rich soil.
Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist Alexander Berkman

I know thee for a liar, a deceiver, a backbiter, and a spirit of insatiable malevolence.
The Three Perils of Man, Vol. 3 (of 3) James Hogg

verb -bites, -biting, -bit, -bitten, -bit
to talk spitefully about (an absent person)

In Ps. 15:3, the rendering of a word which means to run about tattling, calumniating; in Prov. 25:23, secret talebearing or slandering; in Rom. 1:30 and 2 Cor. 12:20, evil-speaking, maliciously defaming the absent.


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