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backup

[ bak-uhp ]
/ ˈbækˌʌp /
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noun
adjective
(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.
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Origin of backup

1775–85, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase back up

usage note for backup

See login.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH backup

back up, backup
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use backup in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for backup

back up

verb (adverb)
noun backup
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with backup

back up

1

Move or drive a vehicle backward, as in He told her to back up into the garage. [First half of 1800s]

2

Bring or come to a standstill, as in The water had backed up in the drains, or The accident had backed up traffic for miles. [First half of 1800s]

3

Support or strengthen, as in The photos were backed up with heavy cardboard so they couldn't be bent, or I'll back up that statement of yours. [Second half of 1700s]

4

Duplicate a file or program so that the original is not lost. For example, Every computer manual warns you to back up your work frequently in case of a power outage or computer failure. [Second half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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