backbone definition, meaning - what is backbone in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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 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?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “backbone” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

a game in hand

if a sports team has a game in hand over other teams in a competition, it still has another game to play in which it can gain points

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More