Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “backbone”

See all translations

backbone

noun  /ˈbækˌboʊn/ us  

backbone noun (BODY PART)

backbone noun (IMPORTANT PART)

[U] the part of something that provides strength and support: Newcomers are now the backbone of this team.

backbone noun (CHARACTER)

[U] strength of character or bravery: The delegates had enough backbone to reject the proposal.
(Definition of backbone from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of backbone?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

More American English definitions for “backbone”

Definitions of “backbone” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

comma

the symbol , used in writing to separate parts of a sentence showing a slight pause, or to separate the single things in a list

Word of the Day

Lies, lies, lies!

by Kate Woodford,
February 25, 2015
​​​ According to sociologists (=people who study the relationships between people living in groups), we are good at lying. As a species, we have developed a remarkable ability to deceive each other (= persuade each other that something false is true). Being able to say things that are not true can help with

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More