stab (one) in the back

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stab (one) in the back

To betray someone's confidence or trust. These companies all want to pretend like they're your friend, but they'll stab you in the back the moment it makes financial sense for them. The gangster's second in command stabbed him in the back to assume control over the entire criminal organization.
See also: back, stab
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stab someone in the back

1. Lit. to thrust a knife into someone's back. Max planned to stab his hostage in the back if he screamed. The murderer stabbed his victim in the back and fled.
2. Fig. to betray someone. I wish you would not gossip about me. There is no need to stab me in the back.
See also: back, stab
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

stab someone in the back

COMMON If someone that you trust stabs you in the back, they secretly do something which hurts and betrays you. She was incredibly disloyal. She would be your friend to your face, and then stab you in the back. She felt betrayed, as though her daughter had stabbed her in the back. Note: You can also talk about a stab in the back, meaning an action or remark which hurts and betrays someone. It's a stab in the back for all Manchester United fans. Note: You can also talk about back-stabbing, meaning talk or gossip which is intended to harm someone. People begin to avoid one another, take sides, be drawn into gossip and back-stabbing.
See also: back, someone, stab
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

stab somebody in the ˈback


get, etc. a stab in the ˈback

(informal) do or say something that harms somebody who trusts you; be treated this way: Jane promised to support me at the meeting, but then she stabbed me in the back by supporting David instead. ▶ a ˈback-stabber, ˈback-stabbing nouns: This party is full of back-stabbers.There is always a lot of back-stabbing in academic life.
See also: back, somebody, stab
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

stab (someone) in the back

To harm (someone) by treachery or betrayal of trust.
See also: back, stab
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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