Definition of backbone in English:


Line breaks: back|bone
Pronunciation: /ˈbakbəʊn


  • 1The series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the pelvis; the spine: prickles of sweat broke out along her backbone figurative the great Pennine range is the backbone of England
    More example sentences
    • Both chickens and humans are vertebrates, a group of animals that have skulls and backbones.
    • Snakes have hundreds of similar vertebrae in their backbones, as can be seen in the skeleton of a python embryo.
    • This jawless mouth sets the lamprey and its cousin the hagfish apart from all other modern vertebrates - animals with backbones.
    spine, spinal column, vertebral column, vertebrae; back
    technical dorsum, rachis
  • 1.1US The spine of a book.
  • 1.2 Biochemistry The main chain of a polymeric molecule.
    More example sentences
    • The protective mucus in the gastrointestinal tract consists of glycoproteins - a protein backbone with carbohydrate side chains.
    • It has been proposed that the photoexcited flavin molecule adds a cysteine residue of the protein backbone, thus activating autophosphorylation of the enzyme.
    • Third, specific interactions between the polar headgroups and chemical groups of the backbone and side chains of the peptide are missing from the model.
  • 3 Computing & Telecommunications A high-speed, high-capacity digital connection which forms the axis of a local or wide area network.
    More example sentences
    • The first major project completed was the digital backbone network, which spans the entire country since its completion in February this year.
    • Villagers cannot afford to use the network even if the backbone transport and connection are free.
    • Smaller players can connect to their backbones via high-speed access lines, paying for a transit link to make the connection.

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Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody