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4 definitions found
 for backbone
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Backbone \Back"bone"\ (b[a^]k"b[=o]n`), n. [2d back, n. + bone.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. The column of bones in the back which sustains and gives
        firmness to the frame; the spine; the vertebral or spinal
        column.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. Anything like, or serving the purpose of, a backbone.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The lofty mountains on the north side compose the
              granitic axis, or backbone of the country. --Darwin.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              We have now come to the backbone of our subject.
                                                    --Earle.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     3. Firmness; moral principle; steadfastness.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Shelley's thought never had any backbone. --Shairp.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     To the backbone, through and through; thoroughly; entirely.
        "Staunch to the backbone." --Lord Lytton.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  backbone
      n 1: a central cohesive source of support and stability; "faith
           is his anchor"; "the keystone of campaign reform was the
           ban on soft money"; "he is the linchpin of this firm" [syn:
           anchor, mainstay, keystone, backbone, linchpin,
           lynchpin]
      2: fortitude and determination; "he didn't have the guts to try
         it" [syn: backbone, grit, guts, moxie, sand,
         gumption]
      3: the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and
         protecting the spinal cord; "the fall broke his back" [syn:
         spinal column, vertebral column, spine, backbone,
         back, rachis]
      4: the part of a book's cover that encloses the inner side of
         the book's pages and that faces outward when the book is
         shelved; "the title and author were printed on the spine of
         the book" [syn: spine, backbone]
      5: the part of a network that connects other networks together;
         "the backbone is the part of a communication network that
         carries the heaviest traffic"

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  98 Moby Thesaurus words for "backbone":
     advocate, alpenstock, arm, athletic supporter, back, backing,
     bandeau, bearer, bottom, bra, brace, bracer, bracket, brassiere,
     buttress, cane, carrier, cervix, chutzpah, corset, courage, crook,
     crutch, determination, firmness, fortitude, foundation garment,
     fulcrum, gameness, girdle, grit, guts, gutsiness, guttiness, guy,
     guywire, hardihood, heart, heart of oak, intestinal fortitude,
     jock, jockstrap, mainstay, maintainer, mast, mettle,
     mettlesomeness, moxie, neck, nerve, pillar, pith, pluck,
     pluckiness, prop, purposefulness, rachis, reinforce, reinforcement,
     reinforcer, resoluteness, resolution, resolve, rest, resting place,
     rigging, sand, shoulder, shroud, spinal column, spine, spirit,
     sprit, spunk, spunkiness, stability, staff, stamina,
     standing rigging, stave, stay, staying power, stick, stiffener,
     stout heart, strength, strengthener, sturdiness, support,
     supporter, sustainer, toughness, true grit, upholder, vertebrae,
     vertebral column, walking stick, will
  
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015) :

  backbone
  
      The top level in a hierarchical network.  Stub
     networks and transit networks which connect to the same
     backbone are guaranteed to be interconnected.
  
     See also: Internet backbone.
  
     (1998-07-02)
  

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