Definition of “backbone” - English Dictionary

“backbone” in British English

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backbonenoun

uk /ˈbæk.bəʊn/ us /ˈbæk.boʊn/

(Definition of “backbone” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“backbone” in American English

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backbonenoun

us /ˈbækˌboʊn/

backbone noun (BODY PART)

backbone noun (IMPORTANT PART)

[ U ] the part of something that provides strength 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 /ˈbækbəʊn/ us
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 allows communication at high speeds over long distances:

The company runs the biggest internet backbone in the US, carrying about 37% of data traffic.

(Definition of “backbone” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)