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English definition of “backbone”

backbone

noun [U] (STRENGTH)    /ˈbæk.bəʊn/ US  /-boʊn/
the backbone of sth the most important part of something, providing support for everything else: Farming is the backbone of the country's economy.Physical supports and supportingArches, columns and beamsBacking, supporting and defendingDefending and protecting courage and strength of character: [+ to infinitive] Will he have the backbone to tell them what he thinks?Bravery
(Definition of backbone noun (STRENGTH) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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