backstop

noun
back·​stop | \ ˈbak-ˌstäp How to pronounce backstop (audio) \
plural backstops

Definition of backstop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something at the back serving as a stop: such as
a : a screen or fence for keeping a ball from leaving the field of play
b : a stop (such as a pawl) that prevents a backward movement (as of a wheel)
2 : a player (such as the catcher) positioned behind the batter
3 : something or someone that provides dependable support or protection against failure or loss As the cold war heated up, Hoover became the country's backstop against subversion.— David M. Oshinsky

backstop

verb
backstopped; backstopping; backstops

Definition of backstop (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

2 : to serve as a backstop to
3 : to play the position of goalkeeper for backstop a hockey team

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Synonyms & Antonyms for backstop

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of backstop in a Sentence

Noun The pitch got past the catcher and rolled all the way to the backstop. kept some gold as a backstop in case the value of the local currency collapsed Verb the Nobel-winning geneticist was of course backstopped in his research by a team of highly talented assistants
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under the proposal, AIDEA would make minimum bids on many of the available 22 tracts, at a cost of around $1 million for each tract, to preserve drilling rights as a backstop if no one else submits a bid. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska state-owned corporation approves spending up to $20 million on oil leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," 24 Dec. 2020 Mnuchin’s decision spurred a rare public clash between Treasury and the Fed, which wanted the programs to stay in place as a backstop to the markets in case the recovery faltered. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Fed leaders more optimistic on jobs, GDP growth at final 2020 policy meeting," 16 Dec. 2020 The lending facilities, though they have been used sparingly so far, are viewed as a backstop for the economy still suffering under the coronavirus pandemic. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Mnuchin urges GOP senators to trust Federal Reserve and Treasury's future," 27 Nov. 2020 Even if the $429 billion that was turned over to Treasury is earmarked for other Covid relief, the Fed still retains some $35 billion to $40 billion as a backstop for its special pandemic facilities. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Hijacking the Fed to Bail Out States," 17 Dec. 2020 Alabama coach Nick Saban enjoys having that backstop there where there was more burden on the offense to score touchdowns in the past. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "Saban calls Alabama kicking ‘a weapon’ with the accuracy ‘very comforting’," 25 Oct. 2020 The Federal Reserve’s municipal-liquidity facility shored up the municipal-bond market earlier this year, but that backstop is limited to relatively short-term loans and expires at the end of 2020. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "The Capital Note: State-and-Local Bailouts, Central Bankers & Climate Change," 5 Oct. 2020 Their backstop is a vertical slab of concrete 5 feet thick and 20 feet tall, and mostly embedded in the ground. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Brightline’s track construction pushes train tunnel under Orlando’s Goldenrod Road," 17 Sep. 2020 Fair enough, and a consent order should require the GSEs to pay for their implicit government backstop and Treasury’s senior preferred shares over time. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Fannie and Freddie Conundrum," 8 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Banks find buyers for a company’s shares and backstop the stock price. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "2020 SPAC Boom Lifted Wall Street’s Biggest Banks," 5 Jan. 2021 Treasury could also provide funds to backstop those programs without congressional approval and could ease the lending requirements. Andrew Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, "Congress avoids shutdown by passing 2-day spending bill as fight continues over pandemic aid," 19 Dec. 2020 And in California, a new fund will use state money to backstop what could ultimately be hundreds of millions of dollars in private loans. Ben Casselman, Star Tribune, "States try to rescue small businesses as U.S. aid is snarled," 13 Dec. 2020 Treasury could also provide funds to backstop those programs without congressional approval and could ease the lending requirements. Andrew Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, "Congress avoids shutdown by passing 2-day spending bill as fight continues over pandemic aid," 19 Dec. 2020 The Treasury could also provide funds to backstop those programs without congressional approval and could ease the lending requirements. Andrew Taylor, ajc, "Fight over Fed powers stalls $900 billion aid plan," 19 Dec. 2020 Treasury could also provide funds to backstop those programs without congressional approval and could ease the lending requirements. Andrew Taylor, chicagotribune.com, "Second stimulus check updates: Congress approves 2-day funding bill to avert shutdown as fight continues over COVID-19 relief package," 18 Dec. 2020 What capacity is there to backstop overwhelmed hospitals? DR. CBS News, "Transcript: Deborah Birx on "Face the Nation," November 29, 2020," 29 Nov. 2020 The central bank can still keep $195 billion of the funds that were already authorized to backstop the facilities until the end of the year, according to Ramamurti. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Trump’s Treasury pulls the plug on pandemic relief loans," 20 Nov. 2020

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

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First Known Use of backstop

Noun

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for backstop

Time Traveler

The first known use of backstop was in 1819

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Statistics for backstop

Last Updated

10 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Backstop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/backstop. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for backstop

backstop

noun
How to pronounce backstop (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of backstop

: a fence or screen that is placed behind the catcher to prevent the ball from rolling away
: something that is kept so that it can be used if it is needed

backstop

noun
back·​stop | \ ˈbak-ˌstäp How to pronounce backstop (audio) \

Kids Definition of backstop

: a fence behind the catcher to keep a baseball from rolling away

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