backbone :

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  • n  a central cohesive source of support and stability
  • n  fortitude and determination
  • n  the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
  • n  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
  • n  the part of a network that connects other networks together
    the backbone is the part of a communication network that carries the heaviest traffic

  • It's also the backbone of ideals like democracy and human rights, as well as the protector of rather more tawdry material like reality TV and Internet porn.
  • They form the backbone of the status quo in the governmental and societal structure.
  • By then, the Internet will have been extended, by means of an interplanetary Internet backbone, to operate in outer space.
News & Articles


  • John Edwards in Guardian Unlimited
    With our convictions and a little backbone we will take back the White House in November,said Edwards, ending his second campaign in a hurricane-ravaged section of New Orleans where he began it more than a year ago.
  • Barack Obama in Bloomberg
    The auto industry is the backbone of American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil,Obama said. "I would like to see the administration do everything it can to accelerate the retooling...
  • Joe Biden in The Times-Picayune -
    With this task force, we have a single, highly visible group with one single goal: to raise the living standards of the people who are the backbone of this country,Biden said.

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