- Anatomy. the spinal column; spine.
- strength of character; resolution.
- something resembling a backbone in appearance, position, or function.
- Bookbinding. a back or bound edge of a book; spine.
- Nautical. a rope running along the middle of an awning, as a reinforcement and as an object to which a supporting bridle or crowfoot may be attached.
- Naval Architecture. the central fore-and-aft assembly of the keel and keelson, giving longitudinal strength to the bottom of a vessel.
Origin of backbone
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backbone
She had been, he says, the backbone of their family and losing her shifted their entire emotional landscape.Everyone at This Dinner Party Has Lost Someone
January 6, 2015
With a backbone of steel, she matched her husband in intelligence, perseverance, and strength of spirit.‘The Harness Maker’s Dream:’ The Unlikely Ranch King of Texas
September 20, 2014
That timeline can serve as the backbone for the story our data tells.The Best Quantified Self Site You Haven’t Heard Of
Jamie Todd Rubin
August 5, 2014
Freedom will seep into the bedrock as we rediscover our backbone.Market Leninism vs. the West
March 30, 2014
“The INF Treaty is the backbone of protecting Europe from nuclear threats,” said a senior GOP Senate aide.U.S. Knew Russia Violated Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
November 26, 2013
Among all the refugees, there is not one more loyal to the backbone than we.Old News
If the hunter fires then, over the horn, he will strike the beast's backbone.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
She was a princess to the backbone, at all hours, and in all places.The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete
Duc de Saint-Simon
Fifty pounds at the end of his backbone, he had had enough of it, thank you!The Downfall
Nothing makes a nicer tourte in this way than large soles, taking off the flesh from the backbone, without the side fins.
- a nontechnical name for spinal column
- something that resembles the spinal column in function, position, or appearance
- strength of character; courage
- the main or central mountain range of a country or region
- nautical the main longitudinal members of a vessel, giving structural strength
- computing (in computer networks) a large-capacity, high-speed central section by which other network segments are connected
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
Word Origin and History for backbone
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- spinal column
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- See vertebral column.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.