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backbone

[bak-bohn] /ˈbækˌboʊn/
noun
1.
Anatomy. the spinal column; spine.
2.
strength of character; resolution.
3.
something resembling a backbone in appearance, position, or function.
4.
Bookbinding. a back or bound edge of a book; spine.
5.
Nautical. a rope running along the middle of an awning, as a reinforcement and as an object to which a supporting bridle or crowfoot may be attached.
6.
Naval Architecture. the central fore-and-aft assembly of the keel and keelson, giving longitudinal strength to the bottom of a vessel.
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English bacbon. See back1, bone1
Related forms
backboned, adjective
backboneless, adjective
Synonyms
2. firmness, decision, fortitude.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for back bones

backbone

/ˈbækˌbəʊn/
noun
1.
a nontechnical name for spinal column
2.
something that resembles the spinal column in function, position, or appearance
3.
strength of character; courage
4.
the main or central mountain range of a country or region
5.
(nautical) the main longitudinal members of a vessel, giving structural strength
6.
(computing) (in computer networks) a large-capacity, high-speed central section by which other network segments are connected
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for back bones

backbone

n.

"spine," early 14c., from back (n.) + bone (n.). Figurative sense of "strength of character" is attested from 1843.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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back bones in Medicine

backbone back·bone (bāk'bōn')
n.
See spinal column.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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back bones in Science
backbone
  (bāk'bōn')   
See vertebral column.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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back bones in Culture

backbone definition


The primary line(s) that connects the slower, shorter cable portions of a communications network together. (See last mile.) In larger networks, such as the Internet, a backbone consists of high-capacity, high-speed lines that can extend over great distances.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for back bones

backbone

noun

Integrity and courage; fortitude: If you had any backbone, you would deal with him


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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12
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