- a wall, wire screen, or the like, serving to prevent a ball from going too far beyond the normal playing area.
- Baseball. the catcher.
- a person or thing that serves as a support, safeguard, or reinforcement: There were technicians on board as backstops to the automated controls.
- to act as a backstop.
- to act as a backstop to: The government agreed to backstop companies that invested in oil exploration.
Origin of backstop
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backstop
On the other, you risk ballooning one into the backstop in front of 50,000 people.Viral Video of the Day: Chrissy Teigen's Drunken Dodger Pitch
August 7, 2014
After the corporate split, the paper will no longer have blockbuster movies to backstop it.New York Post Looks Thinner After News Corporation Split
July 18, 2013
It could serve as a backstop for Mitt, bringing him over the top at the last possible moment.The GOP’s Chaotic Primary Calendar Makes Early Nomination Clinch Tough
February 17, 2012
And Perry thinks TARP was a total mistake—along with all subsequent efforts to backstop or stimulate the economy.Perry’s Entitlement Problem
August 12, 2011
Since the warning he had used the horizon as a backstop for all his shots.Frank of Freedom Hill
Samuel A. Derieux
Joe called out to the veteran catcher, who was acting as his backstop.Baseball Joe, Captain of the Team
"Pete is going to be my backstop on our nine," explained Tommy Flanders.The Rover Boys in the Land of Luck
It facilitates the game if the end of each court may be a wall or fence, and thus make sort of a backstop behind the goal.Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium
Jessie H. Bancroft
Still, it was unusual, and the lieutenant who served as combination secretary and backstop for oratory quaked as he listened.Prologue to an Analogue
- sport a screen or fence to prevent balls leaving the playing area
- a block or catch to prevent excessive backward movement, such as one on the sliding seat of a rowing boat
- US to provide with backing or support
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 backstop
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper