Definition of backbone noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbækbəʊn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbækboʊn//
    Skeleton and muscles
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  1. 1 [countable] the row of small bones that are connected together down the middle of the back synonym spine See related entries: Skeleton and muscles
  2. 2[singular] the most important part of a system, an organization, etc. that gives it support and strength Agriculture forms the backbone of the rural economy.
  3. 3[uncountable] the strength of character that you need to do something difficult He doesn't have the backbone to face the truth.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: backbone