a stab in the back

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a stab in the back

A betrayal; an act of treachery. It felt like a stab in the back to hear that Paul was going out with my ex-girlfriend. The campaign coordinator's mid-race shift of allegiance will be quite a stab in the back for the incumbent president.
See also: back, stab
References in classic literature ?
I have no mind to get a knock on the head or a stab in the back directly I am let out.
Hardened in treachery and in all the tricks and wiles of hatred, he could take a stab in the back and not let his face tell of it.