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Backbone   /bˈækbˌoʊn/   Listen
Backbone

noun
1.
A central cohesive source of support and stability.  Synonyms: anchor, keystone, linchpin, lynchpin, mainstay.  "The keystone of campaign reform was the ban on soft money" , "He is the linchpin of this firm"
2.
Fortitude and determination.  Synonyms: grit, gumption, guts, moxie, sand.
3.
The series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord.  Synonyms: back, rachis, spinal column, spine, vertebral column.
4.
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.  Synonym: spine.
5.
The part of a network that connects other networks together.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Backbone" Quotes from Famous Books



... you were weak and irresolute, but I thought I could put some backbone into you. I hoped for her sake to make something of you after all. Your intentions seemed good enough, but you never had the strength to carry them out.' Alec had been watching the smoke that rose from his ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... pistol shot and several stabs with a knife, and of having similarly killed the said Marie-Anne Bastien, wife of the said Favre, with a spade and a knife, and of having stolen from them the money that was in their house; for punishment of which that he be condemned to have his arms, legs, thighs and backbone broken, he alive, on a scaffold, which shall be erected for that purpose in the market place of this city, at noon, then on a rack, his face turned towards the sky, he be left to die. The said Jean Baptiste Goyer ...
— Picturesque Quebec • James MacPherson Le Moine

... existing position; the lesser expecting that as they grew up to manhood they would be treated as men, and emancipated from childish restraints. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man were contented with their sturdy dependent independence, loyal to the backbone. One member only stood aloof, sulky and dissatisfied, and though in law integrally united with the dominant community, practically was dissociated from it by forming within Parliament (the controlling body of the whole) a separate section, of which the whole aim was to fetter the action ...
— Handbook of Home Rule (1887) • W. E. Gladstone et al.

... capital is to-day, whatever it may have been in the twelfth century, as German as any portion of the German Empire. Moreover, it is the stronghold of Junkerdom, that arrogant but virile squirearchy which still forms the backbone of the old Prussian system; and while it is doubtless the desire to undermine this caste by robbing it of hearth and home that prompts such drastic schemes of conquest, it cannot be too clearly realised that ...
— The War and Democracy • R.W. Seton-Watson, J. Dover Wilson, Alfred E. Zimmern,

... horse he spurs, gallops with great effort, Wields Durendal, was worth fine gold and more, Goes as he may to strike that baron bold Above the helm, that was embossed with gold, Slices the head, the sark, and all the corse, The good saddle, that was embossed with gold, And cuts deep through the backbone of his horse; He's slain them both, blame him for that or laud. The pagans say: "'Twas hard on us, that blow." Answers Rollanz: "Nay, love you I can not, For on your side is arrogance and ...
— The Song of Roland • Anonymous

... the furst we heard was 'For 'tis my delight av a shiny night,' frum a band that thought we was the second four comp'nies av the Lincolnshire. At that we was forced to sind them a yell to say who we was, an' thin up wint 'The wearin' av the Green.' It made me crawl all up my backbone, not havin' taken my brequist. Thin, right smash into our rear, came fwhat was left av the Jock Elliotts - wid four pipers an' not half a kilt among thim, playin' for the dear life, an' swingin' their rumps like buck rabbits, an' a native rig'mint shrieking blue murther. Ye niver heard the like. ...
— This is "Part II" of Soldiers Three, we don't have "Part I" • Rudyard Kipling

... begun, and they continued till darkness grew apace. At length Le Beau Disconus struck such a blow that the giant's right arm was shorn off. Thereupon Maugis fled, but Le Beau Disconus ran swiftly after him and with three stern strokes clove his backbone. Then Le Beau Disconus smote off the giant's head, and went into the town; and all the folk ...
— The Junior Classics, V4 • Willam Patten (Editor)

... insensibility to insult; modesty is a mean between impudence and shamefacedness. People are often mistaken and regard one of the extremes as a virtue. Thus the reckless and the foolhardy is often praised as the brave; the man of no backbone is called gentle; the indolent is mistaken for the contented; the insensible for the temperate, the extravagant for the generous. This is an error. The mean alone is worthy ...
— A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy • Isaac Husik

... sprinkled with little grey hairs. Then there is "Chestnut" who is called that because he is coloured like chestnuts when they are ripe in the fall, and "Teddy," the buckskin horse. He is tan-coloured and has a black stripe on his backbone. Farmer Green got him from the West. There is a little mark called a brand on his flank which ...
— Seven O'Clock Stories • Robert Gordon Anderson

... was so busy with striking." But as he spake he drew the good sword from its scabbard, and smote a heathen knight, Justin of the Iron Valley. A mighty blow it was, cleaving the man in twain down to his saddle—aye, and the saddle itself with its adorning of gold and jewels, and the very backbone also of the steed whereon he rode, so that horse and man fell dead together on the plains. "Well done!" cried Roland; "you are a true brother of mine. 'Tis such strokes as this that ...
— Myths and Legends of All Nations • Various

... then the power of the explosion was seen. Confined, first by the bottle, then by the meat, then by the fish, and lastly by the water, it had exploded with tenfold power, had blown the brute's head into a million atoms, and had even torn a great furrow in its carcass, exposing three feet of the backbone. ...
— A Simpleton • Charles Reade

... hesitate to disobey his command, there would be no united resistance. Besides, the Prophet had been left in charge, and a victory over him would destroy the Indians' faith in his supernatural power. This faith Harrison had come to regard as the backbone of the Indian alliance. Moreover, the British were not in a position to give the Indians open assistance and they would learn from a few battles fought without their aid how little trust was to be put in ...
— Four American Indians - King Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh, Osceola • Edson L. Whitney

... panorama. Looking westward, we see the winding its way from the woods of Topshider; the Servian shore is abrupt, the Austrian flat, and subject to inundation; the prospect on the north-west being closed in by the dim dark line of the Frusca Gora, or "Wooded Mountain," which forms the backbone of Slavonia, and is the high wooded region between the Save and the Drave. Northwards, are the spires of Semlin, rising up from the Danube, which here resumes its easterly course; while south and east stretch the Turkish quarter, ...
— Servia, Youngest Member of the European Family • Andrew Archibald Paton

... hopeless. It would only be weakness on my part not to recognise the facts. Poor Edward, he's nobody's enemy but his own. He was a dear, nice fellow, but there was something lacking in him, I suppose it was backbone. I ...
— The Trembling of a Leaf - Little Stories of the South Sea Islands • William Somerset Maugham

... and Europe is disclosed as a prone and emaciated figure, the Alps shaping like a backbone, and the branching mountain-chains like ribs, the peninsular plateau of Spain forming a head. Broad and lengthy lowlands stretch from the north of France across Russia like a grey-green garment hemmed by the Ural mountains ...
— The Dynasts - An Epic-Drama Of The War With Napoleon, In Three Parts, - Nineteen Acts, And One Hundred And Thirty Scenes • Thomas Hardy

... than this, and of which he can but barely touch the pedals as they come up. Thus he keeps the machine in motion by a succession of little kicks or pushes. He rides bicycles so tall that to gain the saddle he has actually to climb up the backbone of the machine after he has set it in motion with ...
— Harper's Young People, June 22, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... was Ballard. His eyes glanced round with an indomitable expression of scorn and indignation, which, as Diccon whispered, he could have felt to his very backbone. It was like that of a trapped and maimed lion, as the man sat in his chair with crushed and racked limbs, but with a spirit untamed in ...
— Unknown to History - A Story of the Captivity of Mary of Scotland • Charlotte M. Yonge

... lengthening the neck rope, and drawing the feet together as close as possible, the process of laying him down in the water is finally accomplished by the keepers pressing the sharp point of their hendoos over the backbone. ...
— Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon • J. Emerson Tennent

... feline ancestry apparent only in small vestiges. A Salarik's nails on both hands and feet were retractile, his skin was gray, his thick hair, close to the texture of plushy fur, extended down his backbone and along the outside of his well muscled arms and legs, and was tawny-yellow, blue-gray or white. To Terran eyes the broad faces, now all turned in their direction, lacked readable expression. The eyes were large and set slightly aslant in the skull, being startlingly orange-red or ...
— Plague Ship • Andre Norton

... Stocks. The action was severe, and of the British officers, Major Money, and Lieuts. Gibson and Cape, were killed. Sumter lost few men, but he was himself wounded. The ball passed through the shoulder and carried away a small portion of the backbone. He was placed in a raw bullock's hide, fastened between two horses, and thus carried with a guard of ...
— A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion • William Dobein James

... he said it was "simply absurd" to suppose it could "possibly be fraught with any benefit to science" or "reveal any truth of profound significance;" in 1884 he said of the same theory, that "it formed the backbone of all the previous literature upon instinct" by Darwin, Spencer, Lewes, Fiske, and Spalding, "not to mention their numerous followers, and is by all of them elaborately stated as clearly as any theory can ...
— Luck or Cunning? • Samuel Butler

... about my old friend and client, his father, and the young fellow is bent on imitating him. While he is very considerate of his mother and sisters, he has identified himself with his father's views, and has become a Northern man to the backbone. Even to a degree contrary to my advice, he insists on investing his means ...
— An Original Belle • E. P. Roe

... you've got a backbone, anyhow. Eat, and talk afterwards.' Dick fell upon eggs and bacon and gorged till he could gorge no more. Torpenhow handed him a filled pipe, and he smoked as men smoke who for three weeks have ...
— The Light That Failed • Rudyard Kipling

... they try to keep up their abuse. Their voice, too, is now hoarse, and their bloated necks swell out; and their very abuse dilates their extended jaws. Their backs are united to their heads: their necks seem as though cut off; their backbone is green; their belly, the greatest part of their body, is white; and {as} new-made frogs, they leap about ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Vol. I, Books I-VII • Publius Ovidius Naso

... commended it. Crude it was; coarse it was, but no taint of viciousness was here. These people were good people, kindly, benignant even, always readier to give than to receive, always more willing to help than to be helped. They were good stock. Of such was the backbone of the nation—sturdy Americans everyone of them. Where else in the world round were such strong, honest men, such ...
— The Octopus • Frank Norris

... trees, because bad caste shade trees will not control leaf disease. On the contrary, Mr. Graham Anderson informs me that he has seen worse leaf disease under a dense covering of bad shade trees than he has in the open, and he also informs me that, though shade is the backbone of our success in Mysore, he has had more misfortune from all causes when his estate was under the heavy shade of bad caste trees than he has ever had since, though many places are not yet properly covered with the good kind of shade trees which he had planted to take the place of the bad ones ...
— Gold, Sport, And Coffee Planting In Mysore • Robert H. Elliot

... become our asses.' So I said to him who had mounted me, 'What art thou and why mountest thou me?' At this he twisted one of his legs about my neck, till I was all but dead, and beat upon my back the while with the other leg, till I thought he had broken my backbone. So I fell to the ground on my face, having no strength left in me for famine and thirst. From my fall he knew that I was hungry and taking me by the hand, led me to a tree laden with fruit which was a pear-tree[FN436] and said to me, 'Eat thy fill of this tree.' So I ate till I had ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 7 • Richard F. Burton

... England took the initiative and the struggle to save the exemption was turned, in the United States, into a demonstration by the Irish, Germans and other anti-British elements. Innate hostility to England, the coastwise shipping interests, formed the backbone of the opposition to any repeal of this exemption, but the Taft Administration had held that the exemption did not conflict with the treaty (on the ground that the words "all nations" meant all nations except the United States), and British opposition ...
— Woodrow Wilson's Administration and Achievements • Frank B. Lord and James William Bryan

... seen his eyes glitter an' his tongue lick his lips at the sight of a bottle; an' I've heared un groan, an' seed his face screw up, when he pinched the pennies in his pocket an' turned away from the temptation t' spend. It hurt un t' the backbone t' pull a cork; he squirmed when his dram got past his Adam's apple. An', Lord! how the outport crews would grin t' see un trickle little drops o' liquor into his belly—t' watch un shift in his chair ...
— Harbor Tales Down North - With an Appreciation by Wilfred T. Grenfell, M.D. • Norman Duncan

... that she thought she might almost reach out her arm and touch it—was Sugar-Loaf Mountain, round and high and big. And a little to the south was Backbone Mountain, and still farther along a ...
— Twinkle and Chubbins - Their Astonishing Adventures in Nature-Fairyland • L. Frank (Lyman Frank) Baum

... of a story, or an allegory—that chain and backbone of continuous interest, implying a progress and leading up to a climax, which holds together the great poems of the world, the Iliad and Odyssey, the AEneid, the Commedia, the Paradise Lost, the ...
— Spenser - (English Men of Letters Series) • R. W. Church

... hardly name His Name,’ he would say, and accordingly he named Him in ‘The Ancient Sage’ the ‘Nameless.’ ‘But take away belief in the self-conscious personality of God,’ he said, ‘and you take away the backbone of the world.’ ‘On God and God-like men we build our trust.’ A week before his death I was sitting by him, and he talked long of the Personality and of the Love of God, ‘That God, Whose eyes consider the poor,’ ‘Who catereth, even for the sparrow.’ ‘I should,’ he said, ‘infinitely rather feel ...
— Old Familiar Faces • Theodore Watts-Dunton

... turn against me?" was the indignant query. "Have you no backbone left to stand up against these—these ...
— An Undivided Union • Oliver Optic

... own. The house had to be built before it could be furnished on the latest democratic lines; and before it could be even built, the ground had to be wrested from the hands of absentee landlords or cleared of the little dynastic State-shanties which cumbered it. The Polish nationalists became the backbone of the republican movement in Europe; the French republicans proclaimed the independence of nations as one of their cardinal principles. Thus the social idea and the national idea were originally intimately connected. ...
— The War and Democracy • R.W. Seton-Watson, J. Dover Wilson, Alfred E. Zimmern,

... the economic backbone of every civilization from earliest times to the present day. Each civilization has exploited and used up its natural resources. In every civilization individuals, groups, classes and sometimes castes have exploited or used up fellow humans and fellow creatures to suit their ...
— Civilization and Beyond - Learning From History • Scott Nearing

... the backbone of the economy and accounts for more than 30% of GDP, roughly 80% of export earnings, and 66% of government revenues. Proved oil reserves of 3.7 billion barrels should ensure continued output at current levels for about 23 ...
— The 1997 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... fiends and firebrands! Pictures, churches, golf-greens, cabinet members—nothing safe. Pouring their beastly filth into pillar boxes. Women one knows. Hussies, though! Want the vote—rot! Awful rot! Don't blame you for America. Wish I might, too. Good thing, my word! No backbone in Downing Street. Let the fiends out again directly they're hungry. No system! No firmness! No dash! Starve ...
— Ruggles of Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... values to reduce the working costs to a basis of a "per unit" of finished metal. This method has the great advantage of indicating so simply the involved risks of changing prices that whoso runs may read. Where one metal predominates over the other to such an extent as to form the "backbone" of the value of the mine, the value of the subsidiary metals is often deducted from the cost of the principal metal, in order to indicate more plainly the varying value of the mine with the fluctuating ...
— Principles of Mining - Valuation, Organization and Administration • Herbert C. Hoover

... should stiffen your backbone. It's your backbone that matters. You shouldn't want to abandon yourself. You shouldn't want to fling yourself all loose into a woman's lap. You should stand by yourself and learn to be by yourself. ...
— Aaron's Rod • D. H. Lawrence

... every nation—that is, the tillers of the soil, the people who form the backbone of their race—are in continual expectancy of a Man and a Day. Theirs is always the, perhaps, dumb hope, but still the hope, that in their future lie these two things, a Man and a Day. Sometimes the Man has come and the ...
— Nuala O'Malley • H. Bedford-Jones

... entered the dun bearing between them the carcass of the dog from whose mouth and white crooked fangs the blood was gushing in red torrents; and they showed Culain how the skull of the dog and his ribs had been broken in pieces by some mighty blow, and his backbone also in divers places. Also they said: "One of the great brazen pillars which stand at the bridge head is bent awry, and the clean bronze denied with blood, and it was at the foot of that pillar we found the dog." So saying, they laid the body upon the heather in front of Culain's ...
— The Coming of Cuculain • Standish O'Grady

... from Memphis to Chattanooga, the eastern from Chattanooga to Atlanta, the southern from Atlanta to Jackson, Mississippi, and the western, by a network of roads, from Jackson to Memphis. The great East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, which has not inaptly been called "the backbone of the rebellion," intersected this parallelogram at Chattanooga. Thus it will be seen that to destroy the northern and eastern sides of this parallelogram isolated Beauregard, and left East Tennessee, which was then almost ...
— Daring and Suffering: - A History of the Great Railroad Adventure • William Pittenger

... vivid emotion, as each of he three placed himself in the position assigned to him—Karl by the kite, with its backbone in one hand, and its tail in the other—Ossaroo clutching the rope—and Caspar by his side, holding the great ...
— The Cliff Climbers - A Sequel to "The Plant Hunters" • Captain Mayne Reid

... either degenerates into the dull memorizing of dates and names or, rising into the O Altitudo, evaporates in romantic gush over beautiful passages. This does not mean, of course, that no benefit may be obtained from such a study, but it does preclude English literature generally from being made the backbone, so to speak, of a sound curriculum. The same may be said of French and German. The difficulties of these tongues in themselves, and the effort required of us to enter into their spirit, imply some degree of intellectual gymnastics, but scarcely enough for our purpose. Of the sciences it ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... mean himself, but the normal citizen. He does not mean merely "one," but one and all. "On n'a que sa parole" does not mean "Noblesse oblige," or "I am the Duke of Billingsgate and must keep my word." It means: "One has a sense of honour as one has a backbone: every man, rich or poor, should feel honourable"; and this, whether possible or no, is the purest ambition of the republic. But when the Eugenists say, "Conditions must be altered" or "Ancestry should be investigated," or what not, it seems clear that they do not mean ...
— Eugenics and Other Evils • G. K. Chesterton

... general, towards giving a hundred million people in dealing with their politicians, their trusts and labor unions, less bodilessness. We propose to give a hundred million people a face, a voice, a presence, a backbone, a grip. ...
— The Ghost in the White House • Gerald Stanley Lee

... all forbid them to "behave like that." Not in the least. She almost encouraged them. She laughed and arched her eyes and flirted. But her backbone became only the stronger and firmer. Soft and supple as she was, her backbone never yielded for an instant. It could not. She had to confess that she liked the young doctors. They were alert, their faces ...
— The Lost Girl • D. H. Lawrence

... I think it will not be so. I think we shall have established an abiding perception of truth: Theosophy will have smashed the backbone of this foolish Kali-Yuga as a ...
— The Crest-Wave of Evolution • Kenneth Morris

... it into your head just as soon as you can that when I make a rule it's a rule, and I don't want people comin' to me and talkin' about changes. Women in my camp don't go out in boats by themselves, and it's easy enough to have that rule kept if you've got backbone enough to do it. Keep the boat locked to the shore when it ain't in use, and put the key in your pocket, and if anybody gets it that 'ain't any right to it, that's your lookout. Now that's the end of your troubles, I ...
— The Associate Hermits • Frank R. Stockton

... enemies, and like the Unjust Steward to have a claim to a place in their houses, if they were successful, than to work for its security. It was with great difficulty that Sir A. Milner as late as September 18 obtained his consent to the dispatch of a few regulars to Kimberley to form the backbone of a defensive force. He seems to have retained almost to the end, in spite of all indications to the contrary, the belief that the war would be averted or at least that the Orange Free State would not join in ...
— A Handbook of the Boer War • Gale and Polden, Limited

... fertile sections like the Shefelah were the backbone, the strength and the power of Israel and Judah. While the high and mighty princes and merchants lived in the capitals and squandered their wealth, the simple and hard-working farm folk and wage earners made up the bone and muscle of the population, ...
— Stories of the Prophets - (Before the Exile) • Isaac Landman

... stretched upon some stubbly straw, He munched at bran and common grits, Not venturing on the dainty bits. At length the town mouse; "What," says he, "My good friend, can the pleasure be, Of grubbing here, on the backbone Of a great crag with trees o'ergrown? Who'd not to these wild woods prefer The city, with its crowds and stir? Then come with me to town; you'll ne'er Regret the hour that took you there. All earthly things ...
— Horace • Theodore Martin

... darkness of Madrid by the number of Testaments there in circulation and daily use, nor on the other hand should we fear, like Borrow, to bring them into contempt by making them too common. Yet his missionary work makes the necessary backbone of the book. He was, as he justly said, "no tourist, no writer of books of travels." His work brought him adventure as no mere wandering could have done. What is more, the man's methods are still entertaining to those ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... important distinction there may be between religion and our profession of it. Religion, while it is a possession of infinite worth, may be of no worth to us so long as we know that we are keeping back some part of the righteousness which is the backbone of any religion worth the name. A man's religious beliefs and convictions are his own business. They are between him and a higher tribunal than ours. What he does concerns us; and what he does he is. It ...
— Men in the Making • Ambrose Shepherd

... supples his wounds, and infuses fresh blood into his veins: she frees his scars from the clotted gore, and penetrates them with froth from the moon. She mixes whatever nature has engendered in its most fearful caprices, foam from the jaws of a mad dog, the entrails of the lynx, the backbone of the hyena, and the marrow of a stag that had dieted on serpents, the sinews of the remora, and the eyes of a dragon, the eggs of the eagle, the flying serpent of Arabia, the viper that guards the pearl ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... right," agreed Tom; "but I'll feel better when I see my tank in her shed. Let's have some more of that concentrated porterhouse steak of yours, Ned. It is good, and it fills out my stomach, which was getting more intimate with my backbone than ...
— Tom Swift and his War Tank - or, Doing his Bit for Uncle Sam • Victor Appleton

... draw an imaginary line across the two stars forming the backbone of the Bear, starting from the end nearest the tail, and continue it onward for a good distance, you will come to a very bright star called Capella, which you will know, because near it are three little ones in a triangle. Now, Capella means a goat, so the ...
— The Children's Book of Stars • G.E. Mitton

... Soames, but he only nodded, and passed on up Hamilton Place. There was but a trickle of roysterers in Park Lane, not very noisy. And looking up at the houses he thought: 'After all, we're the backbone of the country. They won't upset us easily. Possession's nine ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... would suppose that the secret history of this great beast would ever be revealed, as it lay century after century beneath the sea-floor? But another convulsion took place, and a huge ridge of country, forming the rocky backbone of North and South America, was thrust up again by a volcanic convulsion, so that the diplodocus now lay a mile above the sea, with a vast pile of downs over his head which became a huge range of snow mountains. Then ...
— The Thread of Gold • Arthur Christopher Benson

... told me. Say it over again now," thundered W. Keyse, "so as she can 'ear you. Tell me before 'er as wot she wrote them—these letters"—he rapped himself dramatically upon the breast-pocket—"and how you see her doing of it, before I kick your backbone through your hat." ...
— The Dop Doctor • Clotilde Inez Mary Graves

... be as you may decide, daughter. Our people are waiting for a signal to strike a blow at these Egyptians. Our backbone is not yet broken. All that is needful for our success is to know by what road our enemies will march in their next sortie upon us. That is for thee to find out for us. Radames alone knows—and Radames ...
— Operas Every Child Should Know - Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces • Mary Schell Hoke Bacon

... misery was now greater than theirs. So we hung on to whatever would help us to keep erect, and ate the food given us like famished animals. Rough and threatening as the surroundings still were, I was seaman enough to realize that the backbone of the storm had broken, and so rejoiced when the skipper ordered sail set. In a few moments the brig was once again headed on a westerly course, and riding the heavy seas ...
— Wolves of the Sea • Randall Parrish

... its composition and with an inside track, is thus a special force. An intimation of its influence can be gleaned from its role in the McCarthy case.... BAC helped push Senator Joe McCarthy over the brink in 1954, by supplying a bit of backbone to the Eisenhower Administration at the right time. McCarthy's chief target in the Army-McCarthy hearings was the aforementioned Robert T. Stevens—a big wheel in the BAC who had become Secretary of the Army. The BAC didn't pay much—if any—attention to Joe McCarthy ...
— The Invisible Government • Dan Smoot

... much in their nutritive value as in their texture and flavor. All muscle consists of tiny fibers which are tender in young animals and in those parts of older animals in which there has been little muscular strain. Under the backbone in the hind quarter is the place from which the tenderest meat comes. This is usually called the tenderloin. Sometimes in beef and also in pork it is taken out whole and sometimes it is left to be cut up with the rest of the loin. In ...
— Practical Suggestions for Mother and Housewife • Marion Mills Miller

... roaring torrents, and quiet mountain valleys. West of the Rockies is the great depression known as the Great Basin, which has no outlet to the ocean. It is essentially a gigantic level lake floor traversed in many directions by mountain ranges that are offshoots from the backbone of the Rockies. South of the Great Basin are the high plateaus, into which many great chasms are cut, the best known and largest of which is the great Canon of the Colorado. North and east of the Great Basin is the Columbia River Basin characterized by basaltic rolling ...
— Dry-Farming • John A. Widtsoe

... value and at the same time gives the student a chance to acquire knowledge and skill while performing the labour. Most of all, we find the industrial system valuable in teaching economy, thrift, and the dignity of labour and in giving moral backbone to students. The fact that a student goes into the world conscious of his power to build a house or a wagon or to make a set of harness gives him a certain confidence and moral independence that he would not possess ...
— The Future of the American Negro • Booker T. Washington

... of the above proposal was very kind of our neighbors, but it had no avail. The abrogation of the Reciprocity Treaty and encouragement of the Fenian Raids by the American people had put the Canadians on their mettle and stiffened their backbone, so that neither retaliatory threats or honeyed allurements had any effect in changing their minds from carving out their own destiny under the broad folds of the Union Jack. How well this has been done by the earnest efforts and honest toil of our people, ...
— Troublous Times in Canada - A History of the Fenian Raids of 1866 and 1870 • John A. Macdonald

... to me: 'Don't worry. That gal has got a backbone. She ain't no rye straw. She's a-goin' ...
— In the Days of Poor Richard • Irving Bacheller

... under the oligarchy contemplated by the Palleschi. Others, styled Frateschi or Piagnoni, clung to the ideas of liberty which were associated with the high morality and impassioned creed of Savonarola. These were really the backbone of the nation, the class which might have saved the state if salvation had been possible. Another section, steeped in the study of ancient authors and imbued with memories of Roman patriotism, thought it still possible to secure the freedom of the state by liberal institutions. These ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) • John Addington Symonds

... England was a better country than it is now when the House of Commons was chiefly made up of country gentlemen. You didn't hear anything about this preposterous socialism then. I tell you, the country gentlemen are the backbone of England, and your party will find it out when you've turned them out ...
— The Squire's Daughter - Being the First Book in the Chronicles of the Clintons • Archibald Marshall

... is proverbially a helpless creature, like a bit of driftwood; and children who have been too long kept in a position of pupilage and subordination, when they are sent into the world are apt to turn out very feeble men, for want of a good, strong backbone of will in them. So, many a woman that has been accustomed to leave everything in her husband's hands, when the clods fall on his coffin finds herself utterly helpless and bewildered, just because in the long, happy years she never found it necessary to exercise her own judgment ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - St. Matthew Chaps. IX to XXVIII • Alexander Maclaren

... losses—devises clothes, wigs, artificial teeth, paddings, shoes—what civilised being could use his bare feet for his ordinary locomotion? Imagine him on a furze-sprinkled golf links. Then stays, an efficient substitute for the effete feminine backbone. So the thing goes on. Long ago his superficies became artificial, and now the human being shrinks like a burning cigar, and the figure he has abandoned remains distended with artificial ashes, dead ...
— Certain Personal Matters • H. G. Wells

... are the Fishes, one above her belly and the other above the backbone of the Horse. A very bright star terminates both the belly of the Horse and the head of Andromeda. Andromeda's right hand rests above the likeness of Cassiopea, and her left above the Northern Fish. The Waterman's head ...
— Ten Books on Architecture • Vitruvius

... quite true that Mill, as an economist, was largely indebted to Ricardo; and he has so fully and frequently acknowledged the debt, that there is some danger of rating the obligation too highly. As he himself used to put it, Ricardo supplied the backbone of the science; but it is not less certain that the limbs, the joints, the muscular developments,—all that renders political economy a complete and organized body of knowledge,—have been the work of Mill. In Ricardo's great work, the fundamental ...
— John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works • Herbert Spencer, Henry Fawcett, Frederic Harrison and Other

... to Scotch geology,—and in a state of keeping peculiarly fine. They not a little puzzled John Stewart: he could not resist the evidence of his senses: they were bones, he said, real bones,—there could be no doubt of that: there were the joints of a backbone, with the hole the brain-marrow had passed through; and there were shank-bones and ribs, and fishes' teeth; but how, he wondered, had they all got into the very heart of the hard red stones? He had seen what was called wood, he ...
— The Cruise of the Betsey • Hugh Miller

... in this world, and one wise man is stronger than all men unwise, they can be got. That they must take it; and having taken, must keep it, and do their God's Message in it, and defend the same, at their life's peril, against all men and devils. This I do clearly believe to be the backbone of all Future Society, as it has been of all Past; and that without it, there is no Society possible in the world. And what a business this will be, before it end in some degree of victory again, and whether the time for shouts of triumph and tremendous cheers upon it is yet come, or not yet by ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... which John's slow mind could not supply an answer. Conservative to the backbone in all his notions, like most Sussex people, be their politics what they may, the law of progress was no law to him, but rather rebellion to the divine appointments, and that Jack should wish to be anything else but a shepherd like his ancestors was to him as ...
— The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. VIII. No. 358, November 6, 1886. • Various

... trout without removing the heads; boil as previously indicated. Remove the backbone without destroying the shape of the fish. Serve, thoroughly chilled, on crisp lettuce leaves dressed with claret or French dressing. Prepare ...
— Salads, Sandwiches and Chafing-Dish Dainties - With Fifty Illustrations of Original Dishes • Janet McKenzie Hill

... the food-stuffs of the working classes. It is fairly cheap, and is cooked so as to get the full value of it. More important than the fresh fish is the salted cod (bacalhao). This, which Napier described as "the ordinary food of the Portuguese," is the backbone of the worker's menu. It is not fragrant, nor is it inviting in aspect in its raw state, but it is said to be highly nutritive, and it can certainly be cooked in ways which make it appetising. ...
— Spanish Life in Town and Country • L. Higgin and Eugene E. Street

... opinion the future mistress of Flank Hall was not Mrs. Moze, but Audrey. Audrey admitted that they were right. Yet she took no pleasure in issuing commands. She spoke firmly, but she said to herself: "There is no backbone to this firmness, and I am a fraud." She had always yearned for responsibility, yet now that it was in her hand she trembled, and she would have dropped it and run away from it as from a bomb, had she not been too cowardly to ...
— The Lion's Share • E. Arnold Bennett

... to the lowest possible terms. In opposition to the conception that the sexual ideals of the army are low, it may be urged that they are no lower than those of corresponding grades in civil life, and that hard work and rigid discipline have a much better effect in stiffening moral backbone than the laxities of present-day social life. In the last analysis, the making of the moral tone of the army is in our own hands, and by putting into it good blood and high ideals, we can do as much to raise from it a clean manhood as by submitting that same manhood to the ...
— The Third Great Plague - A Discussion of Syphilis for Everyday People • John H. Stokes

... The Fifth Symphony is a musical rendering of that episode. We feel all through it that self-assertive, self-righteous little man, vigorously thrusting himself through difficulties to the goal of success, and finely advertising his progress over obstacles by that ever-restless drum which is the backbone of the whole symphony. No wonder the Fifth Symphony appeals so much to our virtuous and pushful middle-class audiences. They seem to feel in it the glorification of "a nation of shopkeepers" who are the happy possessors of a ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... brief paragraphs of notice for twenty-four hours. He grinned to himself, and began to look around and get acquainted with the new order of beings and things. He was very awkward and very self-possessed. In addition to the stiffening afforded his backbone by the conscious ownership of eleven millions, ...
— Burning Daylight • Jack London

... but before you go, I wish you would do me a little favor. Your brother did it for me before he left, and cured me, but it has come back on me again. I am subject to very severe pains along the left side of my backbone, all the way from my shoulder blade down to where my ribs attach to my backbone, and the only way I get any relief from the pain is to have some one kick me along the side." (She was a witch, and concealed in her robe a long sharp steel spike. It was placed so that the last kick they would ...
— Myths and Legends of the Sioux • Marie L. McLaughlin

... it, because that is the action of the subconscious mind to take in and reason and argue in its own deductive way upon things of which you are not at the moment consciously thinking. Therefore it is that the realisation of that great promise of redemption, which is the backbone of the Bible from the first chapter of Genesis to the last chapter of Revelations, is according to a scientific law. It is not a hocus-pocus business, it is not a thing which has been arranged this way and might just ...
— The Hidden Power - And Other Papers upon Mental Science • Thomas Troward

... concerning it was the fact that every bit of material used in constructing this backbone of the Spanish defence, this strategic point of all their operations, and their chief hope of success against the revolutionists, was furnished by their despised and hated enemies in the United States. Every ...
— Cuba in War Time • Richard Harding Davis

... it seemed that Bud would fall to the ground, his fingers, in a last, despairing grip, caught a fold of the blanket. By a supreme effort he pulled himself up, managed to get one leg over the ridge-like backbone of the pony and, a moment later, he was sitting upright on the saddle blanket, both hands under the strap, while his heels played a tattoo on the sides of the steed, urging him forward ...
— The Boy Ranchers in Death Valley - or Diamond X and the Poison Mystery • Willard F. Baker

... cherish you, and in my love for you, you will grow stronger. Oh! my darling, my darling, if you knew what life has been to me since you went; how I have blamed myself,—I who ought to have shielded you against yourself, and have been a moral backbone to your weakness. Then as time went on I persuaded myself that I had succeeded in putting you out of my heart,—that I had forgotten you,—and then—you came back to me, and the past leapt living from the years that had no power ...
— If Only etc. • Francis Clement Philips and Augustus Harris

... mind that he went to Dyson's house. This much the ex-detective would urge in his favour. To his neighbours he was an awe-inspiring but kind and sympathetic man. "If you want my true opinion of him," says Detective Parrock, "he was a burglar to the backbone but not a murderer at heart. He deserved the fate that came to him as little as any who in modern times have met with a like one." Those who are in the fighting line are always the most generous about their adversaries. Parrock as a potential target ...
— A Book of Remarkable Criminals • H. B. Irving

... that the principal functions of the soul do act erroneously. His treatment consisted of emetics, purges, opening the veins under the tongue, blisters, issues, and shaving the head, followed by a cataplasm upon it, the backbone anointed with a very choice balsam of earthworms or bats. One prescription for melancholia contains no less than twenty-seven ingredients, to be made into a decoction, to which is to be added that sine qua non, the ever precious hellebore. Other remedies ...
— Chapters in the History of the Insane in the British Isles • Daniel Hack Tuke

... his boat off the beach, rowed to the opposite side of the bay, and hauled the small craft up over a log. Then he took his bag in hand and climbed the rise that lifted to the backbone of Point Old. Halfway up he turned to look briefly backward over beach and yacht and house, up the veranda steps of which the girl in the ...
— Poor Man's Rock • Bertrand W. Sinclair

... his head slightly. "Perhaps he may be a little tired. Alas! we are not all endowed with the splendid energy which the gods have bestowed on you and Sir Stephen; and the heat is enough to take the backbone out of ...
— At Love's Cost • Charles Garvice

... done at the opera, though the director, Duponchel, laughed at him as a lunatic, and the whole company already regarded the work as damned in advance. The result was a most disastrous and eclatant failure, and it would have crushed any man whose moral backbone was not forged of thrice-tempered steel. With all these back-sets Hector Berlioz was not without encouragement. The brilliant Franz Liszt, one of the musical idols of the age, had bowed before him and called him master, the great musical ...
— Great Italian and French Composers • George T. Ferris

... do not want her to exist. The Slav nations of Austria declared clearly and emphatically their wishes and desires in their proclamations. If instead of working for the conversion of the ruling factor in favour of these wishes Dr. Seidler shows us Gessler's hat of Austria with a German head and backbone, then let him remember that we shall hate this Austria for all eternity (loud cheers and applause) and we shall fight her, and God willing, we shall in the end smash her to pieces so completely that ...
— Independent Bohemia • Vladimir Nosek

... Read it again and see if any of the words you know are nominatives or accusatives. This will often give you what may be called the backbone of the sentence; that is, subject, ...
— Latin for Beginners • Benjamin Leonard D'Ooge

... the Brooklyn and Jamaica Turnpike, is an elevated ridge known as the "backbone of Long Island," and on this ridge, partly in Kings and partly in Queens counties, about five miles from the Catharine Street Ferry, is the Cemetery of Cypress Hills. It comprises an area of 400 acres, one-half ...
— Lights and Shadows of New York Life - or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City • James D. McCabe

... call depth in a book is often obscurity; and an author whose meaning is got at only by severe mental exertion, and a straining of the mind's eye, is generally weak in the backbone of him. Occasionally it is the dullness of the reader, but oftener ...
— Our Friend John Burroughs • Clara Barrus

... neither political nor religious differences—that the Unionist-Protestant cow was as dear to us as her Nationalist-Catholic sister—gravely informed me that our programme would not suit Rathkeale. "Rathkeale," said he, pompously, "is a Nationalist town—Nationalist to the backbone—and every pound of butter made in this Creamery must be made on Nationalist principles, or it shan't be made at all." This sentiment was applauded ...
— Ireland In The New Century • Horace Plunkett

... composition of this figure. The most important item of all, probably, although it made so little show, was a certain broomstick on which Mother Rigby had taken many an airy gallop at mid-night, and which now served the scarecrow by way of a spinal column or, as the unlearned phrase it, a backbone. One of its arms was a disabled flail which used to be wielded by Goodman Rigby before his spouse worried him out of this troublesome world; the other, if I mistake not, was composed of the pudding-stick and a broken rung of a chair, ...
— Short Stories of Various Types • Various

... my song, Pray heed its theme alarming: Be good, be wise, be kind, be strong— These traits are always charming, But all your learning, all your skill With well-trained brain and muscle, Might just as well be left alone, If you can't cultivate backbone To help you in life's tussle, And learn to say "No!" Yes, learn to say "No!" Or you'll fall from the heights to the rapids below! You may waver, and falter, and tremble, but oh! When your conscience requires it, be ...
— Our Boys - Entertaining Stories by Popular Authors • Various

... no doubt it requires some decision to break so long a silence. My health is vastly restored, and I am now living patriarchally in this place six hundred feet above the sea on the shoulder of a mountain of 1500. Behind me, the unbroken bush slopes up to the backbone of the island (3 to 4000) without a house, with no inhabitants save a few runaway black boys, wild pigs and cattle, and wild doves and flying foxes, and many parti-coloured birds, and many black, and many white: a very eerie, dim, strange place and ...
— Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson - Volume 2 • Robert Louis Stevenson

... that corpulent and complacent old gentleman. Mr. Pickwick was a mild man, a respectable man, a placid man; but he was very decidedly a man. He could denounce his enemies and fight for his nightcap. He was fat; but he had a backbone. In Master Humphrey's Clock the backbone seems somehow to be broken; his good nature seems limp instead of alert. He gushes out of his good heart; instead of taking a good heart for granted as a part of any decent gentleman's furniture as did the older and stronger Pickwick. ...
— Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens • G. K. Chesterton

... lowered. Notwithstanding the dense multitudes of people, I made my way to the same spot, determined to be satisfied whether or not there was any deception in the application of the hooks. There was no deception. They passed through the skin, on the sides of the backbone. To these hooks were attached yellow ropes, by which he was fastened to the beam, as you will perceive in the picture. This being done, the men, five or six in number, who had hold of the ropes fastened ...
— Dr. Scudder's Tales for Little Readers, About the Heathen. • Dr. John Scudder

... should not have arrived like that. If Schneider had had anything resembling a skin, he would have felt about as comfortable as Mother Eve at a woman's club. Lockerbie's scowl was no joke; and Follet had a way of wriggling his backbone gracefully.—It was up to me to save Schneider, and I did. The honor of Naapu was nothing to me; and by dint of almost embracing him, I made myself a kind of absorbent for his worst breaks. It was not a pleasant hour for me before the rest ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... myself. Whatever had become of the hounds, and the other hunters? The higher I climbed the more I liked it. After an hour I was sure that I could reach the rim by this route, and of course that stimulated me. To make sure, and allay doubt, I sat down on a high backbone of bare rock and studied the heave and bulge of ridge above me. Using my glasses I made sure that I could climb out. It would be a task equal to those of lion-hunting days with Jones, and it made me happy to realize that despite the ...
— Tales of lonely trails • Zane Grey

... I will continue. "Get lots of starch in you and a backbone that is a backbone! Don't fall down in a heap and mope over things you can't help. The agreeable things in life are as rare as sage-brush growing in Gotham, while the disagreeable is bobbing up eternally. So brace up, my friend, ...
— The Woman Beautiful - or, The Art of Beauty Culture • Helen Follett Stevans

... Attacks and sallies were frequent, every house along the walls and in the suburbs soon showed bullet marks and the town of San Carlos was again partially destroyed by fire. Finally Morales defeated the besiegers, and in March, Macoris was taken by the government forces and the backbone of the revolution was broken. The insurrection had spent itself on account of lack of supplies and efficient leaders. Jimenez, financially ruined by his attempts to reestablish himself in power, again withdrew to Porto Rico. The government forces were unable to retake the Monte Cristi district, ...
— Santo Domingo - A Country With A Future • Otto Schoenrich

... group, and that the dominant one, the English Unitarians included Dissenters of different tendencies and traditions, with a few recruits from the State Church. The 'Presbyterian' congregations, as they were not very strictly called, were the backbone of the 'body'; many of these, however, were very weak, and in the course of a few decades some were destined to follow those which had died out in the eighteenth century. Converts not infrequently ...
— Unitarianism • W.G. Tarrant

... them to get at the mountain sides, they become so poor as scarcely to be eatable. In summer, however, they speedily eat themselves back into condition, and in autumn they are so fat that they would certainly take prizes at an exhibition of fat cattle. In the museum at Tromsoe there is preserved the backbone of a reindeer, shot on King Karl's Land, which had a layer of fat seven to eight centimetres in thickness on ...
— The Voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe, Volume I and Volume II • A.E. Nordenskieold

... of the deer were shot." The crows on the other side of the canyon, called, "Which men got killed?" The first crier replied, "The chaparral cock, who sat on the horn of the deer, and the crow, who sat on its backbone." The other called out, "We are not surprised that they were killed; that is what we tell you all the time. If you will go after the dead deer you must expect to be killed." "We will not think of them longer; they are dead ...
— Eighth Annual Report • Various

... regret, flowed down his backbone, increasing. Will happen, yes. Prevent. Useless: can't move. Girl's sweet light lips. Will happen too. He felt the flowing qualm spread over him. Useless to move now. Lips kissed, kissing, ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... and indeed unsuspected. The higher mountain regions were known only to a sprinkling of guide-led climbers and the frequenters of a few gaunt hotels, and the vast rainless belts of land that lay across the continental masses, from Gobi to Sahara and along the backbone of America, with their perfect air, their daily baths of blazing sunshine, their nights of cool serenity and glowing stars, and their reservoirs of deep-lying water, were as yet only desolations of fear and death to the ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... sharply to Claude—"I'll bring him out in your opera. That baritone part could easily be worked up a bit, brought forward more into the limelight. Why, it would strengthen the opera, give it more backbone. Mind you, I wouldn't spoil the score not for all the Alstons ever created. Art comes first with me, and they know it from Central Park to San Francisco. But the baritone part would bear strengthening. It's for the good ...
— The Way of Ambition • Robert Hichens

... "The backbone of the ridge is limestone, and after I had reached a certain level I noted, all along, that the rock had remarkably wide cleavages; that is where there had been breaks in the rock the seams opened, and in some places I found recesses ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island • Roger Thompson Finlay

... of the shot was deafening. Its backbone drilled just beneath the skull, the snake dropped upon Gunnar, burying him beneath its writhing folds. Then Gunnar was loose, and running to the boat. Above them the cliff was groaning as though it were tired ...
— Hunters Out of Space • Joseph Everidge Kelleam

... mean firing six-shooters—hardly! I mean backbone," he hastened to add, almost ingratiatingly. "It is a thing to control, Jack, ...
— Over the Pass • Frederick Palmer

... too, who might be in a position to supply the key to the mystery. Undoubtedly, the backbone of the whole thing was the desire for money. Sir Charles Darryll and his friend Lord Edward Decie had been engaged in some adventurous speculation together in Burmah. They had doubtless deemed that speculation to be worthless, but Carl Sartoris had found that ...
— The Slave of Silence • Fred M. White

... I'm afraid I'm not over-orthodox. You see, I've knocked about a bit and seen something of other men's beliefs. The love of God is the backbone of my religion, and all that doesn't go with that, I discarded long ago. If Christianity doesn't mean that, it doesn't mean anything. I've no use for the people who think that none but their own select little circle will go ...
— The Keeper of the Door • Ethel M. Dell

... could not immediately go to Ballyards. Eleanor could not reply to his letter, but Mrs. MacDermott wrote that she was recovering rapidly from her illness and that the baby was a fine, healthy child. "A MacDermott to the backbone," she wrote. "It's queer work that keeps a man out of his bed half the night and won't let him go to his wife when she's having a child! Your Uncle William isn't looking well ... he feels the weight of his years and the work on him ... and he is worried about the ...
— The Foolish Lovers • St. John G. Ervine

... a well-known naturalist. It makes an excellent binding for certain books. Among fishes the shark provides a skin used in a variety of ways. The shagreen of the shark's ray is of great value. Canes are made of the shark's backbone, the interstices being filled with silver or shell plates. Shark's teeth are used to decorate the weapons of various nations. The magnificent scales, nearly four inches across and tipped with seemingly solid silver, ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 362, December 9, 1882 • Various

... were broad and square, and not nearly as much rounded as might have been expected from his position in writing. It was not the stoop of his shoulders that detracted from his height, but a certain settling together, if I may so say, of the couplings of his backbone. He was large-boned throughout, but without the muscles that should have gone with such a frame. He would probably have described himself as tall, big, gangling. He had no personal taste or pride in clothing, and never to my knowledge ...
— Eugene Field, A Study In Heredity And Contradictions - Vol. I • Slason Thompson

... When we reach the backbone of Peru we are not only above the clouds as in Bolivia, but we are surrounded by mystery. Here can be seen today the ruins of temples that were richer perhaps than any of those of the countries with which we are all so familiar. This article, however, will largely ...
— Birdseye Views of Far Lands • James T. Nichols

... builder capitulated. The balloon was built, and the silk proved to be the best fabric available at that time for the purpose. A keel made of strips of pine banded together with aluminum wire formed the backbone of the Santos-Dumont craft, and from it depended the car about one quarter of the length of the balloon and hung squarely amidships. The idea of this keel occurred to the inventor while pleasuring at Nice. Later ...
— Aircraft and Submarines - The Story of the Invention, Development, and Present-Day - Uses of War's Newest Weapons • Willis J. Abbot

... that into your upper soil," cried our republican orator; then collecting into one his scattered items of argument, he invited his friend George to take his muscle, pluck, wind, backbone, and self, out of this miserable country, and come where the best man has a chance ...
— It Is Never Too Late to Mend • Charles Reade



Words linked to "Backbone" :   intervertebral disk, spinal column, vertebral canal, support, chine, mesh, book, fortitude, connector, canalis vertebralis, colloquialism, part, grit, net, connecter, tail bone, connection, network, meshwork, axial skeleton, meshing, volume, portion, spinal canal, connexion, connective, notochord, intervertebral disc, skeletal structure, vertebra, coccyx



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