Definition of backstop in English:



  • 1A thing placed at the rear of something as a barrier or support.

    ‘pull back harder until you reach the backstop on the stick’
    • ‘Bolts are about 6'' long and made of unfletched wood; their metal points are threaded like a coarse woodscrew to facilitate removal from the lead plates used as backstops.’
    • ‘Shooting far, really far, in the mountains at inanimate targets with safe backstops is challenging and downright fascinating, even to the most practiced rifleman.’
    • ‘In domain B, the viscous substrate was displaced by the moving backstop and accumulated as a thick wedge against the frontal ramp.’
    • ‘There should be no ammunition anywhere in the vicinity of the practice area, and the backstop should be sufficient to hold the bullet should the gun fire.’
    • ‘The first shot registered 440 fps from a 6-inch barrel and didn't even make it to the backstop 70 yards away.’
    • ‘Densely packed bookshelves can also act as backstops.’
    • ‘Keep the muzzle pointed at a backstop which would stop a bullet without endangering anyone.’
    • ‘You don't need the Library of Congress to build a bookshelf that can also serve as a backstop or a cover point.’
    • ‘All that is required is a distance of 10 yards or so that is secure from people getting in the line of fire, a safe backstop, and eye protection for the shooter and spectators.’
    • ‘He found that with an earthen backstop and overhead baffles angled at 90 degrees, rounds were escaping the range facility.’
    • ‘The main difference between the two is that bocce is played on a hard surface court with a backstop at each end.’
    • ‘Including shots fired to condition and foul the bore, plinking at twigs in the backstop and the shots fired for group, some 300 rounds were fired.’
    • ‘Many instruments used for the procedures require backstops - metal or titanium shields that prevent laser energy from interacting with tissue that should not be involved in the surgical procedure.’
    • ‘After accuracy testing was finished, an additional 100 rounds were fired - just into the backstop at close range - to complete the function test portion.’
    • ‘If you are truly serious about becoming a capable offhand marksman, set up a suitable backstop in your garage or basement and discipline yourself to fire just 10 careful rounds each evening.’
    • ‘It's absolutely harmless, enjoyable, and challenging to shoot across a wide mountain canyon with a safe backstop on the other side - the name of this game being far.’
    • ‘Pick a large safe area as a backstop, like a dirt berm, free of rocks which might deflect a bullet.’
    • ‘At around $1,195 it sounds expensive, until you realize your grandchildren will still be using it long after you've turned into dust and are part of the backstop at your local range.’
    • ‘The typical indoor range has concrete floors and a steel backstop, and attracts blue-collar males almost exclusively.’
    • ‘It sports a permanent, easy-to-see bullseye emblazoned on its durable nylon casing, and has a handy loop for hanging in front of a safe backstop.’
    1. 1.1Baseball A high fence or similar structure behind the home plate area.
      • ‘It rained so hard the stream near the baseball field behind the backstop rose high enough to cover home plate!’
      • ‘They know the frustration, the anxiety, the helplessness and the embarrassment of being on the mound and throwing pitches nowhere near home plate, heaving some to the backstop.’
      • ‘It bounces three feet in front of home plate and rolls to the backstop.’
      • ‘We'd stand at home plate facing the backstop, and he'd give us five pitches per turn.’
      • ‘Taylor didn't chase after the ball which rolled to the backstop behind home plate.’
    2. 1.2Baseball A catcher.
      • ‘Behind every pitcher who shuts down the opposition is a backstop who quietly endures nine heart-pounding innings’
      • ‘I don't know if he's the best catcher, but he certainly can be the best hitter among these backstops.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, several young backstops enhanced their career potentials in 2002 by doing creditable jobs.’
      • ‘The veteran backstop has learned to take the fierce body blows of his position philosophically.’
      • ‘I was backstop at rounders and had to retrieve the ball from a nearby horses' field.’
    3. 1.3 An emergency precaution or last resort.
      ‘the human operator has to act as the ultimate backstop when things go badly wrong’
      • ‘That the corporate tax serves as a backstop against sheltering income is probably the strongest reason today for keeping the tax.’
      • ‘Either way, the First Amendment stands as an effective backstop to the copyright clause argument.’
      • ‘Teaching is always sitting there as a backstop, and so if it doesn't work, its not a crisis.’
      • ‘The legislation would strengthen the federal backstop to private pension plans by raising corporate contributions to a fund.’
      • ‘Their backstop is a fee justification process, which is written and administered by other solicitors perusing documentation from the solicitor involved.’
      • ‘Until that is assured, only a federal backstop will help speed a viable insurance market for terrorism risks, before there is further damage done to the economy.’
      • ‘This makes directors the ultimate personal backstop for some of the corporations' unpaid wages-as well as for unpaid taxes, including unremitted employee deductions.’
      • ‘While torture is non-existent in New Zealand, and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment very rare, it is always good to have a backstop to make sure we stick to our ideals.’
      • ‘As a backstop to any other suggestions, sharing memories is often a very comforting way of sparking ‘positive’ thought patterns.’
      • ‘Late abortion is a backstop - society might not like it but it is better than women being forced to have babies they don't want.’
      • ‘And one final thing, if everything fails, those 30 computers fail, you have one final backstop, right?’
      • ‘What matters is that it's understandable and can act as a backstop for a whole raft of specific tax cutting measures favored by conservatives.’
      • ‘Inching up the minimum wage as a weak backstop is not enough.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the people who are creating the messages may simply not be relying on effective backstops to check their copy before it is distributed.’
      • ‘They want the Democrats to act as a backstop for this wild nonsense.’
      • ‘But he's got a lot of left-leaning groups who are saying, ‘You are our only backstop.’’
      safeguard, preventative measure, preventive measure, safety measure, insurance, defence, provision
      View synonyms


[with object]Baseball
  • 1Act as backstop for.

    • ‘Since then, he's captured two Stanley Cups, backstopped Canada to the gold medal at the 2002 Olympics, and compiled a record eight straight 30-plus victory seasons.’
    • ‘He has backstopped his team to the lead in the race for the Jennings Trophy, awarded for fewest goals against.’
    • ‘He has the game and the make up to again backstop this team deep into the post-season - possibly to the Cup title this time.’
    • ‘And oh, by the way, he has backstopped the Rangers to their first playoff appearance after a seven-season sabbatical.’
    • ‘He didn't bring a resume of playoff success, but he had pure talent and the ability to backstop a risk-taking team.’
    1. 1.1Ice Hockey Act as goaltender for.
      ‘the man who backstopped the Edmonton Oilers’
      • ‘Also remember this, though: Jim Craig wasn't exactly a world-beater when he backstopped the 1980 Americans to their miracle run.’
      • ‘Hasek moved to the Motor City in 2001 and by June 2002 had backstopped the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup.’
      • ‘Third-year Gryphons' goalie Ken Ritson backstopped his club to a 5-2 victory.’
      • ‘Khabibulin, who backstopped Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup title in 2004, signed a four-year, US $27 million deal with Chicago in August.’
      • ‘And Mellor claims there is greatness among that young talent, including many players who have already backstopped the U.S.'s junior national teams in their respective world championships.’
      • ‘St Pierre netminder Marc Duval traps the puck Sunday night in St Pierre as he backstopped the 59ers to a 6-1 victory over the St Adolphe Hawks.’
      • ‘There were no more goals scored in the final 43 minutes of the contest as Rob Friesen backstopped the 98s to victory.’
      • ‘He has backstopped his team to the lead in the race for the Jennings Trophy, awarded for fewest goals against.’
      • ‘Further back, the most recent Montreal Stanley Cup champion, in 1993, was backstopped by Patrick Roy.’
      • ‘In June 2002, Hasek backstopped the Red Wings to hockey's version of the Holy Grail.’
      • ‘However, the 6'1" Scott Gouthro, who backstopped the Warriors in last Friday's 5-1 loss to the Western Mustangs, was left to virtually fend for himself.’
      • ‘St Vincent backstopped the Blades into the MJHL finals against the OCN Blizzard.’
      • ‘Niittymaki backstopped the AHL's Philadelphia Phantoms to the Calder Cup.’
      • ‘Kahn backstopped Bayern to the Bundesliga crown, conceding the league's second-fewest number of goals in the process.’
      • ‘In April he backstopped the Ile des Chenes North Stars to the Allan Cup National Senior Hockey Championship.’
      • ‘And oh, by the way, he has backstopped the Rangers to their first playoff appearance after a seven-season sabbatical.’
      • ‘In 2002, he helped Blackburn win the Worthington Cup - their first cup in 74 years - and backstopped the U.S.'s remarkable quarterfinals appearance in the World Cup.’
      • ‘Rob Giesbrecht arrived in Dundas on Wednesday and took over the goaltending reins for the final two games as he backstopped the North Stars to the Allan Cup championship.’
      • ‘Kiprusoff backstopped the Flames to within a goal of the Stanley Cup in 2004.’
      • ‘Kolzig backstopped the Capitals to the Finals three years ago and, if anything, he's better now than he was then.’
    2. 1.2 Support or reinforce.
      ‘the founding banks were backstopping the loans’
      • ‘The deception campaign that exploited the émigrés' lack of credibility was unwittingly backstopped by correspondence between Cubans and their friends and relatives in the United States.’
      • ‘To entice insurers to provide higher protection limits, the industry wants the federal government to backstop its unlimited liability.’
      • ‘The culprit may be the gene therapy company, perceived impersonally as located far away and likely to be backstopped by an insurance policy.’
      • ‘The steering-committee meetings are backstopped by shipboard inspections of relentless detail.’
      • ‘Their ability to obtain similar backstopped alias documents was too slow, and we had not been able to obtain internal permission to acquire these for our subjects.’
      • ‘He went on to point out that as oil traders know they will be backstopped by purchases for the SPR, they can ‘keep betting on higher prices by buying contracts with impunity.’’
      • ‘To make sure there is enough in the coffers to pay for a worst-case scenario, the state was forced to create its own catastrophe fund, to backstop insurance companies.’
      • ‘If the market value of GSE debt were to fall sharply because of ambiguity about the financial soundness of GSE's and about the willingness of the federal government to backstop the debt, what would happen?’
      • ‘To compare the effect of the sea-level curve on the tectonic subsidence estimates, we have used three curves to backstop the Zangla and Yulchung sections.’
      • ‘From a motorway bridge, a seething sea of cars backstopping some TV reporter's lament on ‘increasing traffic chaos’ has become a multisensory cliché.’
      • ‘The Army was in no position whatsoever to backstop a get-tough policy of containment vis-a-vis the Soviets.’
      • ‘This raises the unsettling prospect of taxpayers getting stuck with a savings-and-loan-type bailout of the agency, which backstops traditional pension plans for 44 million workers and retirees who would otherwise take a bigger hit.’
      • ‘My cover - advisor to the Border Police - was backstopped only minimally, but no one seemed too worried.’
      • ‘It looks to me like the corporation was backstopping everything with respect to these investments.’
      • ‘Ideally, this new structure would be backstopped by a strengthened system of group practices, enhancing general practitioners' roles as gatekeepers to the acute system.’
      • ‘The risk is low because of the clear understanding that, for the sake of the Treasury as well as the entire financial system, the Federal Reserve must and will backstop the market in time of turmoil.’
      • ‘So all the things the Senate has been trying to do to try to backstop our national labs seem to have been for naught to date.’
      • ‘Keep your promise by backstopping anyone who stands up to bullying.’