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

abet, aid, assist, back, help, prop (up), support

Antonyms: Verb

hinder

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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

But for most of the rest, good credit is not only desirable but represents an important financial backstop. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Here's one way to know if you are — or aren't — part of the middle class," 16 June 2019 Will LeMire, junior goalie, White Bear Lake: The Bears’ backstop thwarted 72.7 percent of shot attempts this season. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Pioneer Press boys lacrosse player of the year: St. Thomas Academy’s Luke Williams," 10 June 2019 Yasmani Grandal has been the best catcher in baseball since 2016 Yasmani Grandal is having a great season, and the Brewers' one-year deal for the backstop is looking like a stroke of genius. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Five eye-opening stats that illustrate how good five potential Milwaukee Brewers all-stars have been," 10 June 2019 The growth of evangelicals — while the Catholic Church has been losing numbers — provides a crucial cultural and political backstop for social conservatives. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Post-Liberal Dead End," 7 June 2019 The Astros chose Cal catcher Korey Lee with the 32nd and final pick of the first round of Monday's MLB Draft, selecting a seemingly unheralded backstop who ceded his college spotlight to his more renowned teammate. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros pick catcher Korey Lee to cap first round of draft," 4 June 2019 In fact, most are simply resolutions that are being panned by the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is providing backstop with his Republican majority to keep the measures from ever making it to Trump’s desk. Padmananda Rama, The Seattle Times, "House Democrats cheer wins of 1st 100 days, ponder stumbles," 12 Apr. 2019 Standing an imposing 6-foot-4, the 26-year-old backstops Major League Soccer’s best team, Los Angeles FC. Jonathan Tannenwald, https://www.inquirer.com, "South Jersey’s Tyler Miller impresses USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter in helping LAFC to top of MLS," 5 June 2019 Webb’s pitch to Gamel bounced off the brick backstop to catcher Tyler Flowers, who threw out Grandal at third base. Charles Odum, The Seattle Times, "Gamel’s 10th-inning homer lifts Brewers over Braves, 3-2," 19 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sisco once was regarded as Baltimore’s catcher of the future, but that title now belongs to Adley Rutschman, the Oregon State backstop the Orioles took with the first overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "On eve of demotion anniversary, Chance Sisco feeling comfortable with Orioles," 16 June 2019 The policy would backstop other state measures forcing electric utilities to decarbonize, while requiring industrial companies to adopt the most efficient technologies to reduce their emissions, or pay for them. oregonlive.com, "Oregon’s massive cap-and-trade bill inches forward," 6 June 2019 Nuclear would have to be replaced with natural gas plants necessary to backstop intermittent wind and solar. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Tom Steyer’s Energy Orders," 19 Oct. 2018 Edwards tied for the team lead with four picks as a junior and will be called upon again to be a primary playmaker for a defense that has to replace seven starters yet is still being relied upon to backstop the Badgers’ playoff hopes. — ES 94. Chris Johnson And Eric Single, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2018: Nos. 100–51," 18 June 2018 Boston Bruins Does Frederik Andersen have enough gas in the tank to backstop a two-month playoff run? Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Why Each NHL Team Won't Win the Stanley Cup," 10 Apr. 2018 But the Trump team is invoking its aggressive constitutional theory to backstop its other arguments. Charlie Savage, New York Times, "Trump and His Lawyers Embrace a Vision of Vast Executive Power," 4 June 2018 Fired up in the first Cup Final game in Washington since 1998, the Capitals unloaded chance after chance on Fleury, who made 23 saves but couldn't backstop a frazzled, disjointed team that lost two games in a row for the first time in the playoffs. Stephen Whyno, chicagotribune.com, "Capitals flying high up 2-1 on Vegas in Stanley Cup Final," 2 June 2018 Trudeau’s government upped the ante this week, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau pledging to indemnify the C$7.4 billion ($5.8 billion) project for politically motivated delays and backstop any company willing to take it on. Michael Bellusci, Bloomberg.com, "For Sale: Stalled Pipeline Project, Protesters Included," 18 May 2018

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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Statistics for backstop

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for backstop

The first known use of backstop was in 1819

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More Definitions for backstop

backstop

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on backstop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backstop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backstop

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