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[bak-lawg, -log] /ˈbækˌlɔg, -ˌlɒg/
a reserve or accumulation, as of stock, work, or business:
a backlog of business orders.
a large log at the back of a hearth to keep up a fire.
Compare forestick.
verb (used with object), backlogged, backlogging.
to hold in reserve, as for future handling or repair.
to enter and acknowledge (an order) for future shipment.
verb (used without object), backlogged, backlogging.
to accumulate in a backlog:
Orders are starting to backlog faster than we can process them.
Origin of backlog
First recorded in 1675-85; back1 + log1
1. supply, stock, store, fund, cache, reservoir. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for backlog
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Another ten thousand without horses, who formed a backlog of reserves.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • When he got it back at last, he eagerly downloaded his backlog of mail.


    Cory Doctorow
  • The fire had burned out, save the backlog which still glowed.

    Troop One of the Labrador Dillon Wallace
  • I felt that there was no other token of decay so impressive as that bed of weeds in the place of the backlog.

  • The next thing she did was to rake back the red embers, and make a hollow place among them, just where the backlog had been.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for backlog


an accumulation of uncompleted work, unsold stock, etc, to be dealt with
(mainly US & Canadian) a large log at the back of a fireplace
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for backlog

1680s, "large log placed at the back of a fire," from back (adj.) + log (n.1). Figurative sense of "something stored up for later use" is first attested 1883, but this and the meaning "arrears of unfulfilled orders" (1932) might be from, or suggested by, log (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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