Meaning of backstop

back•stop

Pronunciation: (bak'stop"), [key]
— n., v., -stopped, -stop•ping.
—n.
  1. a wall, wire screen, or the like, serving to prevent a ball from going too far beyond the normal playing area.
  2. the catcher.
  3. a person or thing that serves as a support, safeguard, or reinforcement: There were technicians on board as backstops to the automated controls.
—v.i.
  1. to act as a backstop.
—v.t.
  1. to act as a backstop to: The government agreed to backstop companies that invested in oil exploration.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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