backbone Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “backbone” in the English Dictionary

"backbone" in British English

See all translations

backbonenoun

uk   /ˈbæk.bəʊn/  us   /-boʊn/
  • 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

See all translations

backbonenoun

 us   /ˈbækˌboʊn/
  • backbone noun (BODY PART)

[C] yourspine
  • 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

See all translations

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)
What is the pronunciation of backbone?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“backbone” in British English

“backbone” in Business English

Word of the Day

float

a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals

Word of the Day

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More