Definition of backup in English:



  • 1[mass noun] Help or support.

    ‘no police backup could be expected’
    • ‘Several minutes later a call for backup came over the police radio.’
    • ‘These were people who were never out of their own parish and they were sent to England without any sort of backup or support.’
    • ‘Junior nurses have no backup or support and become disillusioned and leave.’
    • ‘When confidence and good fortune stops, you need backup and we have not got that kind of support.’
    • ‘As a police officer, he has access to certain assault weapons and handguns, as well as receiving a certain amount of backup from other police officers.’
    • ‘If they suspect someone of being armed then they will need to call for backup from regular police as the community officers will not have the training or equipment to deal with suspected armed people.’
    • ‘Yet she had to meet that demand without any of the formal backup that a minister or minor royal would take for granted.’
    • ‘A support boat will provide backup throughout the challenge.’
    • ‘Support groups providing backup for people to resist the cravings are available in Darwen and Accrington, with a new group expected to start in Clitheroe next month.’
    • ‘Instead, like a Mafia boss, he provided protection, backup, and a reputation for brutality in return for a cut of the take.’
    • ‘‘We found the transmitter within an hour and called police for backup,’ one of the enforcement officers told us.’
    • ‘Of the people surveyed 14 per cent said they had pet insurance, compared to 20 per cent of companies which have external support or backup.’
    • ‘The next meeting will take place in November and will include such items as assessment, support and backup.’
    • ‘Once he got to seven he turned to go down and noticed the police had called backup because their numbers had tripled.’
    • ‘They wanted to ask corporate management for additional funds but needed financial backup to support their request.’
    • ‘Calling for backup, the police then arrested several more onlookers who had entered into the fray.’
    • ‘We've a lot of air support and a lot of backup as opposed to these small covert wars that we've been used to fighting.’
    • ‘The support and backup are great, and I can now help clients with a complete range of legal services, not just the ones I specialize in.’
    • ‘Police immediately called for backup feeling that the scene was becoming too unsettled.’
    • ‘Her face was ashen as she fumbling with her helmet, and I realized that her life support and backup had failed.’
    help, support, assistance, aid
    reinforcements, reserves, additional resources
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Someone or something that can be called on if necessary; a reserve.
      ‘I've got a security force as backup’
      [as modifier] ‘a backup generator’
      • ‘With both the main generators and their backup out of service, the plant's cooling system was dependent on batteries, which last eight hours.’
      • ‘If your backup generator isn't powering the refrigerator, raid it for the food, but don't open the door more than necessary.’
      • ‘Two other team members should be assigned to provide backup power and establish alternate communication systems.’
      • ‘These backup forces are demoralized and headed for the door.’
      • ‘The club still is looking for improved defense, speed, a backup catcher and a reserve outfielder.’
      • ‘He will serve as the primary backup at second and third and possibly at first, and he also could play at shortstop or a corner outfield spot.’
      • ‘Or, combine your backup generator with a renewable energy system, and declare your total independence from the grid!’
      • ‘Emergency backup generators will not be adequate to maintain even a rudimentary water supply.’
      • ‘When she was sure that they had all gone, she informed the police backup that they were to arrest any reporter they saw that came within eyeshot of the post office.’
      • ‘I live up on a mountain, and I have a generator for backup power.’
      • ‘You've got a budget of $60 million and $10 million is reserved for backup players.’
      • ‘The backup diesel generators in their facilities were designed only to handle critical loads, not full operations.’
      • ‘Some roles never were fully established, including second base, backup catcher and setup reliever.’
      • ‘Most backup diesel generators burn distillate fuel oil, the same fuel used for heating and for aircraft.’
      • ‘The Government is determined to bring in all necessary scientific backup to monitor the pollution risk and vowed to allocate whatever resources were required.’
      • ‘The most serious incident was compounded by the failure of a battery powered backup generator in the air traffic control tower.’
      • ‘The original cornice was sheared off from the existing backup stone and replaced with new marble.’
      • ‘But if you have an electric stove, it requires so much power that many backup generators won't be able to run it.’
      • ‘Our plan would thus be incomplete without a provision for backup forces, included in most proposals for a rapid reaction force.’
      • ‘Despite this redundancy, there are also backup generators.’
  • 2Computing
    A copy of a file or other item of data made in case the original is lost or damaged.

    ‘make a backup of any important files’
    [as modifier] ‘a backup copy’
    • ‘There are plenty of free and trial backup products available for download or purchase online.’
    • ‘Computer hell is the place for computers without computer backup.’
    • ‘He has insisted that his company's software was meant to let consumers innocently make backup copies of their DVDs and computer games.’
    • ‘They also help me forget about rational things like computer backup and backup software.’
    • ‘A similar volume is likely to be sold for use as backup storage for notebook and desktop computers.’
    • ‘It might ask about the partner's incident response plan or backup procedures, for example.’
    • ‘The software giant went on to warn that the danger from shoddy backup procedures will be compounded by what it predicts will be sharp increases in the number of laptops being damaged or stolen.’
    • ‘The best solution is to make backup automatic, and there are many ways to do that depending on how much you are willing to pay.’
    • ‘So, as you build your computer data backup system, be sure to document your test procedures into handy checklists.’
    • ‘The owner is responsible for maintaining the system, including making backup copies of all project data on a regular basis.’
    • ‘Software upgrades routine backup and restore procedures will also take much less time.’
    • ‘Online backup is actually more secure than storing unencrypted data tapes in a remote vault.’
    • ‘When astronauts leave Earth, many plans, procedures, and backup systems are in place for their comfort and survival.’
    • ‘To ease the procedure you can use some automatic backup software.’
    • ‘A built in backup system enables data backup to a tape or hard drive.’
    • ‘It collects backup streams from several computers and writes them all to tape together with headers identifying their origins.’
    • ‘Copy and move functions include replication, remote mirroring, and online backup.’
    • ‘The good thing about online backup is, it's accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.’
    • ‘We used a feature in both backup apps to simply replicate the folder, so that compression overhead wasn't a factor.’
    • ‘Also, let's say that you have no backup storage devices, and you have some large files that wouldn't fit on another partition.’
    1. 2.1[mass noun]The procedure for making backup copies of files or other items of data.
      ‘automatic online backup’
      • ‘You can even have one more for storing all your multimedia files, and maybe even one for storing backups of all your important files.’
      • ‘You'll also need ‘several hundred megabytes plus several hundred more’ for temporary files and backups, so start tidying those hard disks, people.’
      • ‘That's when I say a silent prayer of thanks for the triple-redundant tape backups and burnt CDs of printed files that clutter our storage closet.’
      • ‘There is no way really to tell whether the primary purpose of a device is to make personal backups or illegal copies.’
      • ‘The devices can be used as a repository for large multimedia files, and to store backups of critical data as well as disk images.’
      • ‘There's a lot more to making backups than just copying a few files onto a CDRW disk and throwing it into a box.’
      • ‘Make regular backups of your data files to separate file storage device.’
      • ‘Preparation includes making backups of all software (including operating systems) and making a contingency plan.’
      • ‘Customers will probably turn to the boxes for basic storage, disk-to-disk backups and archiving.’
      • ‘Also, PC vendors can configure it to store backups of a user's critical data files as well as tweaks to the OS and applications.’
      • ‘I dug through my backups and found some old files I needed.’
      • ‘I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to make critical backups of important data.’
      • ‘‘It was a horrible day… and I keep floppy backups of the important stuff now,’ she said.’
      • ‘Enterprises store four times the data they produce as backups and archives.’
      • ‘The typical user has a few things in mind when buying a CD burner: first of all, to make backups, and copies of game or music CDs.’
      • ‘How could they have known they had ‘all’ the records if they didn't have either the microfilm or the paper backups?’
      • ‘Now there are plenty of small companies that have lost backups and archived data.’
      • ‘Be sure to have all your drivers next to you just in case, also, be sure to have a backup of any important information.’
      • ‘Make simple backups and keep every copy of your Web or FTP site up to date with some standard tools that probably are already on your system.’
      • ‘I have lots of diddling with old post categories and backups and so forth to do, but it looks like the site's pretty much back!’
  • 3North American An accumulation of something caused by a blockage, as in traffic or water.

    ‘there are long backups on all routes’
    • ‘Likewise a durable waterproofing system needs to be implanted to stop water leakage from drainage backups or root puncture that could damage apartments below.’
    • ‘Major interstates are now northbound, but it's slow going, with traffic backups across the region.’
    • ‘A midblock crosswalk will completely disrupt the already short Grand-Snelling intersection, causing severe backups on both sides of the light.’
    • ‘Imagine if we never again had people darting across three lanes of traffic to avoid a traffic backup or to get off on an exit at the last minute.’
    • ‘Along with human waste and other sewage, solid waste has inundated Baghdad's streets for decades, contributing to sewer backups, disease, and a tainted water supply.’
    • ‘And it could simply be that there are some backups due to that single runway situation earlier.’
    • ‘Now, one other thing we want to show you, and that is some of the backups on these county roads.’
    • ‘Because almost five percent of total domestic flights go through O'Hare, the problems in Chicago create a ripple of backups elsewhere.’
    • ‘She said no Plum homes in the Plum Creek section had backups during the flooding.’
    • ‘I was stuck in traffic, a mile-long backup that showed no sign of abating anytime soon.’
    • ‘Do not, however, take steps on your own if the water contains sewage, such as from a toilet backup.’
    • ‘Those are the worst cities, but every city that has a population over that of Denver's is seeing major traffic backups.’
    • ‘Film crews, often causing traffic backups, are steadily becoming a common sight around the Joburg, as the city's reputation as a filmmaking destination spreads.’
    • ‘Now, I am going issue the warning right now, that this is going to cause a backup in many airports.’
    • ‘Both are constricting and reduce the flow of toxins, causing backups.’
    • ‘This led to massive traffic backups in one of the busiest parts of the city.’