Definition of backbone
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 : firm and resolute character
4 : spine 1c
backbonedplay \-ˌbōnd\ adjective
Examples of backbone in a Sentence
She is the backbone of the family.
He showed some backbone by refusing to compromise his values.
Recent Examples of backbone from the Web
International workers are the backbone of the Seaside Farm Market in the remote northern Outer Banks town of Corolla.
Some things to note as to why games are ranked, or not: rivalries are the backbone of college football, and this list will reflect that.
Because onions are the backbone of this recipe, this step is imperative in order to achieve the magical flavor nuances from sweet and savory caramelized onions.
It could be said that celebrity feuds are the backbone of the entertainment industry: Taylor vs. Katy, Mariah Carey vs. J.Lo, Miley Cyrus vs. Nicki Minaj — all iconic.
This recipe is going to instruct you to remove the backbone of the fish from inside the cavity—no small task but well worth it.
In some places, such as Detroit and Silicon Valley, major corporations form the backbone for the emerging technology.
That thrilling story forms the backbone of his new book,
For the second time in three years, local crime novelist Don Winslow has taken out a full-page ad in a national newspaper criticizing the government’s war on drugs, an issue that has formed the backbone of several of his bestselling books.
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.
First Known Use of backbone
BACKBONE Defined for English Language Learners
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
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Seen and Heard
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