Definition of backbone:
pricker, sticker, anchorperson, moxie, spinal column, rachis, dorsum, vertebral column, headstone, sand, horse sense, rear, acantha, grit, common sense, mother wit, pillar, good sense, thorn, book binding, spikelet, backrest, cover, anchorman, ground tackle, prickle, binding, back, gumption, firmness, spur, mainstay, keystone, gritstone, guts, sense, gritrock, lynchpin, spine, anchor, linchpin, vertebrae, key.
- courage (part of speech: noun)
resolution (part of speech: noun)
- "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Part 5.", Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens).
- "Frank Merriwell's Chums", Burt L. Standish.
This is the mainspring of that action without which a drama is a thing of naught; and perhaps the most obvious backbone for a play is the tense contest of two human beings, each knowing clearly what he wants and each straining to attain it, at whatever cost to his adversary, to all others, and even to himself.- "Inquiries and Opinions", Brander Matthews.