Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. The vertebrate spine or spinal column.
2. Something, such as the keel of a ship, that resembles a backbone.
3. The main support or major sustaining factor: the backbone of a thesis.
4. Strength of character; determination: displayed grit and backbone in facing adversity.
5. Geology
a. A ridge forming the principal axis of a mountain.
b. The principal mountain ridge, range, or system of a region.
6. Chemistry The main chain of atoms in a polymer.
7. Computers A high-speed communications line that connects smaller, local networks to each other, especially in a wide area network.

back′boned′ adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tyrone champions Trillick, backboned by two sets of brothers Mattie and Richard Donnelly plus Rory and Lee Brennan, also have proven talent in Niall Gormley and Daire Gallagher.
Current and former county stars like Diarmuid Connolly, Ger Brennan and Tomas Quinn have backboned the effort and could be excused for being leg weary.
David Attenborough said: "If we and the rest of the backboned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well.
I envision a cashless society where universal financial inclusion backboned on mobile devices and payment platforms has a multiplier effect on GDP growth.
He's been able to do that all the way through the playoffs, so he's really backboned us.
Vertebrates, or backboned animals, come in two basic models: jawless and jawed.
Doubtless Attenborough's legions of fans would disagree, especially given that in his latest TV quest, a two-parter called Rise Of Animals: Triumph Of The Vertebrates, he traces the evolution of backboned mammals.
Now modest programme-maker Sir David Attenborough's latest TV quest, a two-parter called Rise Of Animals: Triumph Of The Vertebrates, sees him trace the evolution of backboned mammals.
In addition to the national deployment of WiFi3 technology in Sierra Leone, World Affinity Telecom has secured licenses to deliver national WLAN coverage in a number of other Western African countries, including Guinea, where the company plans expansion of a WLAN network, backboned by WiFi3 technology, by the end of 2012.
THE DRAMATIC disappearance of Asian vultures figures prominently in one of the most comprehensive assessment of the world's backboned animals, including birds, reptiles and mammals.