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[bak-lawg, -log] /ˈbækˌlɔg, -ˌlɒg/
a reserve or accumulation, as of stock, work, or business:
a backlog of business orders.
a large log at the back of a hearth to keep up a fire.
Compare forestick.
verb (used with object), backlogged, backlogging.
to hold in reserve, as for future handling or repair.
to enter and acknowledge (an order) for future shipment.
verb (used without object), backlogged, backlogging.
to accumulate in a backlog:
Orders are starting to backlog faster than we can process them.
Origin of backlog
1675-85; back1 + log1
1. supply, stock, store, fund, cache, reservoir. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for backlog
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The two doors on opposite sides permitted the horse, dragging the backlog, to enter at one and then to go out at the other.

  • Another ten thousand without horses, who formed a backlog of reserves.

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
  • backlog and forestick were soon piled and kindlings laid, and the fire roared and snapped and crackled up the ample chimney.

    Poganuc People Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • When he got it back at last, he eagerly downloaded his backlog of mail.

    Makers Cory Doctorow
  • Had it been worked up as he sketched it in his mind, it would have been the outdoor counterpart of his "backlog Studies."

    The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner Charles Dudley Warner
British Dictionary definitions for backlog


an accumulation of uncompleted work, unsold stock, etc, to be dealt with
(mainly US & Canadian) a large log at the back of a fireplace
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 backlog

1680s, "large log placed at the back of a fire," from back (adj.) + log (n.1). Figurative sense of "something stored up for later use" is first attested 1883, but this and the meaning "arrears of unfulfilled orders" (1932) might be from, or suggested by, log (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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