v. To surreptitiously perform a task in the background while one‘s attention is supposed to be on another task.

Example Citation:
backgrounding verb The practice of not giving someone your full attention while multitasking.
—Tim Nelson, "Millennium speak," Saint Paul Pioneer Press, February 18, 1999

Earliest Citation:
Ever rung a colleague or client and found that the only response your questions are soliciting is the occasional "Hmmm"? You've just been "backgrounded"! To background someone is to deny them your full attention while multi-tasking.
—"News," The Guardian, February 13, 1999

Related Words: