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English definition of “backbone”

backbone

noun uk   /ˈbæk.bəʊn/ us    /-boʊn/

backbone noun (BONES)

[C] the line of bones down the centre of the back that provides support for the body: She stood with her backbone rigid.
Synonym

backbone noun (STRENGTH)

the backbone of sth the most important part of something, providing support for everything else: Farming is the backbone of the country's economy. [U] courage and strength of character: [+ to infinitive] Will he have the backbone to tell them what he thinks?
(Definition of backbone from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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