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backstop

[bak-stop] /ˈbækˌstɒp/
noun
1.
a wall, wire screen, or the like, serving to prevent a ball from going too far beyond the normal playing area.
2.
Baseball. the catcher.
3.
a person or thing that serves as a support, safeguard, or reinforcement:
There were technicians on board as backstops to the automated controls.
verb (used without object), backstopped, backstopping.
4.
to act as a backstop.
verb (used with object), backstopped, backstopping.
5.
to act as a backstop to:
The government agreed to backstop companies that invested in oil exploration.
Origin of backstop
1810-1820
1810-20; back1 + stop
Related forms
backstopper, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for backstop
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It facilitates the game if the end of each court may be a wall or fence, and thus make sort of a backstop behind the goal.

  • Since the warning he had used the horizon as a backstop for all his shots.

    Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux
  • He left Miss Fitzgerald to serve into the backstop and walked across the court to where Madge stood.

    The Whirligig of Time Wayland Wells Williams
  • Still, it was unusual, and the lieutenant who served as combination secretary and backstop for oratory quaked as he listened.

    Prologue to an Analogue Leigh Richmond
  • Finally, the tenth shot smacked against the backstop and he racked his weapon and punched at the target return button.

    The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole
  • The backstop was built up of earth and was soft enough so that the pins would not splinter on striking it.

    Castle of Terror E.J. Liston
British Dictionary definitions for backstop

backstop

/ˈbækˌstɒp/
noun
1.
(sport) a screen or fence to prevent balls leaving the playing area
2.
a block or catch to prevent excessive backward movement, such as one on the sliding seat of a rowing boat
verb (transitive) -stops, -stopping, -stopped
3.
(US) to provide with backing or support
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 backstop
n.

1819, in cricket, from back (adj.) + stop. In U.S. baseball, from 1889, "fence behind the catcher;" figurative extension to "catcher on a baseball team" is from 1890. The verb is attested from 1956 in the sense of "support." Related: Backstopped; backstopping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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18
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