Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

backbone

backboneno backbone
Meaning(s)
1) foundation or central aspect, bravery or strength
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • he has no backbone, it's the backbone of the industry/company
  • Analysis
    A 'backbone' is literally the spine of a person: "The scar ran from his neck to the end of his backbone." In a figurative sense, it refers to the main support system or foundations of a company, group, family or organisation: "My grandmother was always the backbone of the family." If we say a person has 'a lot of backbone', it means they have a lot of strength of character: "She will need a lot of backbone to stand up to the landlord." You can use this word in social and professional contexts. Similar meaning phrases include 'spine', 'the mainstay of', and 'the core of.'
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. They say that someone who won't stand up for themselves has no backbone.
    2. Some people would describe me as confrontational but I like to think I have a lot of backbone.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. The boss is afraid to take risks. He has no backbone.
    2. Many would argue that the backbone of a strong economy is a highly educated workforce.
    3. The backbone of this company is the passion of its staff. Without it, the quality of the product would diminish.
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