Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

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)
What is the pronunciation of backbone?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Physical supports and supporting, but you might be interested in these topics from the Objects topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “backbone” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

shadow

an area of darkness, caused by light being blocked by something

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More