backbone

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noun back·bone \-ˈbōn, -ˌbōn\

Definition of backbone

  1. 1 :  spinal column, spine

  2. 2 :  something that resembles a backbone: such asa :  a chief mountain ridge, range, or systemb :  the foundation or most substantial or sturdiest part of somethingc :  the longest chain of atoms or groups of atoms in a usually long molecule (such as a polymer or protein)d :  the primary high-speed hardware and transmission lines of a telecommunications network (such as the Internet)

  3. 3 :  firm and resolute character

  4. 4 :  spine 1c

backboned

play \-ˌbōnd\ adjective

Examples of backbone in a Sentence

  1. She is the backbone of the family.

  2. He showed some backbone by refusing to compromise his values.

Recent Examples of backbone from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backbone'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

14th Century

First Known Use of backbone

14th century


BACKBONE Defined for English Language Learners

backbone

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noun

Definition of backbone for English Language Learners

  • : the row of connected bones that go down the middle of the back and protect the spinal cord

  • : the most important or strongest part of something

  • : strength and courage


BACKBONE Defined for Kids

backbone

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noun back·bone \ˈbak-ˈbōn\

Definition of backbone for Students

  1. 1 :  the column of bones in the back enclosing and protecting the spinal cord :  spinal column

  2. 2 :  the strongest part of something He is the backbone of the family.

  3. 3 :  strength of character


Medical Dictionary

backbone

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noun back·bone \-ˈbōn, -ˌbōn\

Medical Definition of backbone

  1. 1:  spinal column, spine

  2. 2:  the longest chain of atoms or groups of atoms in a usually long molecule (as a polymer or protein)



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