backbone Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary

Meaning of “backbone” in the English Dictionary

"backbone" in British English

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uk   /ˈbæk.bəʊn/  us   /-boʊn/

backbone noun (BONES)

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

backbone noun (STRENGTH)

the backbone of sth the most ​importantpart of something, ​providingsupport 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 totell them what he ​thinks?
(Definition of backbone from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"backbone" in American English

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 us   /ˈbækˌboʊn/

backbone noun (BODY PART)

[C] your spine

backbone noun (IMPORTANT PART)

[U] the ​part of something that ​providesstrength 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)

"backbone" in Business English

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backbonenoun [C, usually singular]

uk   us   /ˈbækbəʊn/
the backbone (of sth) the most important ​part of something: Small ​businesses are truly the backbone of the ​economy. Imaginative ​ideas may form the backbone of your ​progress in the future.
COMMUNICATIONS, IT the ​system of ​equipment and ​connections that ​allowscommunication at high ​speeds over ​long distances: The ​companyruns the biggest internet backbone in the US, ​carrying about 37% of ​datatraffic.
(Definition of backbone from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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