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- set of bones which connected make up the spine and spinal column and run down the middle of the back in vertebrate animals.
- any fundamental support, structure, or infrastructure
Before automobiles, railroads were a backbone of commerce.
- courage, fortitude, or strength
He would make a good manager, if he had a little more backbone.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia
Back"bone" (-bōn`), n. [2d back,
n. + bone.]
1. The column of bones in the back which sustains
and gives firmness to the frame; the spine; the vertebral or spinal
2. Anything like, or serving the purpose of, a
The lofty mountains on the north side compose the granitic
axis, or backbone of the country.
We have now come to the backbone of our subject.
3. Firmness; moral principle;
Shelley's thought never had any backbone.
To the backbone, through and through; thoroughly;
entirely. "Staunch to the backbone." Lord Lytton.
- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
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