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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
1810-1820
1810-20; back1 + stop
Related forms
backstopper, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for backstop
  • And last week he unveiled a plan to backstop consumer debt.
  • Panic only subsided when the government stepped in to backstop the industry.
  • The backstop wall later showed scars from more than a hundred bullets.
  • He's likely to receive a spring training invite in order to serve as an extra backstop in camp.
  • He's likely to get an invite to spring training, but only to serve as an extra backstop in camp.
  • Most reform proposals to date, however, still envisage a permanent federal backstop.
  • It provides a backstop that prevents a runaway cell line from reproducing indefinitely, and thus becoming a tumour.
  • It suggests private capital will be attracted if the government continues to backstop deals.
  • But such a backstop can only be credible if there are no doubts about the government's solvency.
  • Now, there are legitimate questions about the extent and the duration of this backstop.
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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