Definition of backbone in English:

backbone

Line breaks: back|bone
Pronunciation: /ˈbakbəʊn
 
/

noun

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.
Synonyms
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.
2The chief support of a system or organization: these firms are the backbone of our industrial sector
More example sentences
  • Today, an access control system is the backbone of many organizations' total security plan.
  • Can't sophisticated people attack the computer systems that are the backbone of these big financial institutions?
  • ‘The focus is on developing a core of strong domestic banks to be the backbone of the financial system,’ she said.
Synonyms
mainstay, cornerstone, foundation, chief support, buttress, pillar
2.1 [mass noun] Strength of character: he has enough backbone to see us through this difficulty
More example sentences
  • True, they have not that softness of speech which is said to be possessed by Londoners, but they have plenty of grit and backbone in their characters.
  • What the football team needs now is a head coach with backbone and character.
  • Character and backbone behind closed doors is why, among players, he is still respected.
Synonyms
strength of character, strength of will, firmness of purpose, firmness, resolution, resolve, determination, fortitude, mettle, moral fibre, spine, steel, nerve, spirit, pluck, pluckiness, courage, courageousness, bravery, braveness, valour, manliness
informal guts, spunk, grit
British informal bottle
vulgar slang balls
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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Word of the day erroneous
Pronunciation: iˈrōnēəs
adjective
wrong; incorrect