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Meaning of backbone

back•bone

Pronunciation: (bak'bōn"), [key]
— n.
  1. the spinal column; spine.
  2. strength of character; resolution.
  3. something resembling a backbone in appearance, position, or function.
  4. a back or bound edge of a book; spine.
  5. a rope running along the middle of an awning, as a reinforcement and as an object to which a supporting bridle or crowfoot may be attached.
  6. the central fore-and-aft assembly of the keel and keelson, giving longitudinal strength to the bottom of a vessel.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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