- a person or thing that supports or reinforces another.
- a musician or singer or group of musicians or singers accompanying a soloist: a singer with a three-man backup that plays cello, bass, and guitar.
- an overflow or accumulation due to stoppage, malfunctioning, etc.: a sewage backup; a backup of cars at the tollbooth.
- a person, plan, device, etc., kept in reserve to serve as a substitute, if needed.
- a copy or duplicate version, especially of a file, program, or entire computer system, retained for use in the event that the original is in some way rendered unusable.
- a procedure to follow in such an event.
- Bowling. a ball that curves in a direction corresponding to the bowling hand of the bowler.
- (of a person, plan, device, etc.) held in reserve as a substitute if needed: a backup driver; a backup generator.
- performing a secondary or supporting function: A drummer and guitarist are the singer's backup musicians.
Origin of backup
1775–85, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase back up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for backup
Sometimes, they had a backup aim if their main goal fell through as the night dragged on.The Craziest Date Night for Single Jews, Where Mistletoe Is Ditched for Shots
December 26, 2014
In early October, Health Republic allowed me to submit a “grievance claim” which I filed, along with a pile of backup documents.My Insurance Company Killed Me, Despite Obamacare
November 24, 2014
At 12:02 p.m., Wilson called in his location and asked the dispatcher for backup.Why Darren Wilson Will Walk
November 22, 2014
Backup dancers materialize, sparking a torrent of eye-catching choreography.The Making of Kiesza: From Navy Sharpshooter to Beauty Queen to Pop Diva
October 20, 2014
She retreated into the lobby, but only to call for backup and an ambulance.Manhunt for a Cop-Hating Pennsylvania ‘Survivalist’
September 17, 2014
They recovered me from backup and into a force-grown clone at Toronto General.
I have a backup in my public directory—anyone can examine it.
Now she was off to restore herself from a backup made before she met me.
You were restored from a backup about eight weeks ago, I see.
She could swap out a dead bot for a backup in five minutes flat, which is all that crowd-control would permit.
Word Origin and History for backup
see back up.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper