She is the backbone of the family.
He showed some backbone by refusing to compromise his values.
Recent Examples on the WebAnd after glazing the turkey, the remaining glaze becomes the backbone of a simple pan sauce while the bird is resting.—People Staff, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 Rib-Arrow Dairy weathered this year’s historic flooding in California, but long-term drought threatens the area’s agricultural backbone.—Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 But ultimately the troupe’s material — exhibited in several films, a television show, tours and albums — is still the backbone of the show.—Sopan Deb, New York Times, 6 Nov. 2023 The backbone of every season is usually a book and this one [for season two of Bosch Legacy) is The Crossing.—Demetrius Patterson, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Oct. 2023 Tapestry also has a tech backbone that Capri lacks.—Phil Wahba, Fortune, 13 Oct. 2023 Small businesses, often described as the backbone of the economy, are among the hardest hit.—Jo Ling Kent, CBS News, 2 Nov. 2023 The financial backbone of the industry — linear television — is rapidly shrinking as consumers continue to cut the cord at alarming rates.—Jason Kilar, Variety, 26 Oct. 2023 Which is why poor Mary, who loves him and has tried to serve as his backbone, has been dragged down, too.—Sara Holdren, Vulture, 10 Oct. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backbone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.