Definition of back something up in English:

back something up

phrasal verb

  • 1Computing
    Make a spare copy of data or a disk.

    • ‘Storing this content as if it's a simple computer file, and thus simply backing it up to disk, is not the optimal approach.’
    • ‘Short of exporting the entire database, and then backing that up, the ideal is to shut down each database, back it up, and then fire it up again, in sequence.’
    • ‘By all means, back it up to a floppy or CD-ROM, but keep your backup in a safe place.’
    • ‘It will create image files to a second hard drive, and then you can use your favorite CD or DVD burning software to back your images up.’
    • ‘I downloaded everything onto my computer here, then backed it up on disks.’
    • ‘All replacement changes are backed up and an HTML report is generated in the end of the routine.’
    • ‘Once the data is backed up to disk, business operations can proceed at a normal pace and important data protection operations can take place.’
    • ‘Knowing the number and size of files and size is important if you need to make copies of data files and back them up to a floppy disk.’
    • ‘Alternatively, you can configure the software to back the data up into one big file, with data compression enabled.’
    • ‘A cold backup is when an application is taken off line, which means there's no user access to the data, and the data is backed up.’
    • ‘The diskettes are recycled after a long, long interval in the cupboard, long after the hard disk files have been backed up.’
    • ‘As a result, all data is backed up completely and without risk of corruption, even if the files are open and in use during the backup.’
    • ‘Whether the system is backed up to disk or tape is not really an issue; however, there is a cost and management issue regarding backing up data.’
    • ‘Users can download the tracks to one computer and back them up on two other PCs.’
    • ‘It was like spending hours on end typing a thesis on a laptop, forgetting to back it up on disk then dropping the thing two thirds of the way through and shattering the hard drive.’
    • ‘While a BestCrypt container is unmounted, it can be backed up, copied and otherwise treated like any other file.’
    • ‘If identical copies of a 20 MB PowerPoint presentation exist on 10 different computers, only one copy of the presentation will be backed up.’
    • ‘Users who want a more hands-on approach, can choose which files and folders are backed up, provide the software with scheduling information, and indicate how many generations of each item are to be kept.’
    • ‘Now storage servers or workstations can be backed up on one single tape cartridge housed in the server itself.’
    • ‘In fact saving your work often (and backing it up to floppy disk, zip disk or writable CD) is a good idea if you have anything important on your PC.’
  • 2Cause vehicles to form into a queue due to congestion:

    ‘the traffic was backed up a mile in each direction’
    • ‘It is nothing unusual to find traffic backed up for a few miles south of the town.’
    • ‘I cycle down Bootham and the traffic can be backed up but I know exactly how long the journey is going to take me.’
    • ‘And another New Road shopkeeper added: ‘By 4.30 pm all the traffic is backed up right along the road.’’
    • ‘The traffic's all backed up and there are people shouting and fighting everywhere.’
    • ‘Traffic heading east out of Manchester on the M60 was backed up as far as Eccles.’
    • ‘On several mornings, vehicles were backed up from the Park Hotel Roundabout to the Burgery at around 9 am, but conditions had improved by the end of the week.’
    • ‘Traffic has been backed up around the area during rush hour ever since the work started.’
    • ‘It's 5: 00 p.m., the thruway is backed up for miles, and you're trying to race your sick child to the pediatrician.’
    • ‘But motorists have complained that rush-hour traffic has been backed up on Tadcaster Road as drivers get to grips with the new lights.’
    • ‘A few blocks away the traffic was backed up… they had closed off a bunch of roads to ‘non famous vehicles and their drivers.’’
    • ‘Police were called to the scene with traffic backed up in both directions.’
    • ‘Traffic was backed up all along Cutlery Road for half an hour as the convoy refused to move.’
    • ‘Outside Atlanta, traffic into the city was backed up for more than 20 miles on Interstate 20 after two tractor-trailers spun out of control.’
    • ‘Not infrequently, vehicles are backed up beyond Arthur Road in Durnsford, Leopold in Gap, and Blackshaw in Plough.’
    • ‘The light ahead was green, but the traffic was backed up through the light.’
    • ‘Sometimes the traffic is backed up so much you can't get on to the A19, other times the cars are going so fast it is a total deathtrap.’
    • ‘Such was the crowd that traffic was backed up for the best part of 30 minutes on all roads in and out of the town.’
    • ‘On the wrong day traffic can be backed up almost its entire dreary length giving the road its present bad reputation.’
    • ‘There was no point setting off right away - all the cars were backed up as they queued to get out, so I sat for an hour reading The Guardian with the heater on full fan to dry my jeans.’
    • ‘Race day arrived and the traffic is backed up all the way around the race track.’