a. A screen or fence used to prevent the ball from being thrown or hit far behind or to the sides of home plate.
b. A catcher.
2. A safeguard that supports, bolsters, or protects.
tr.v. back·stopped, back·stop·ping, back·stops
1. To serve as a backstop for.
a. To support or bolster: “The firm lacks a topflight strategic-consulting arm to backstop its technology gurus” (Alex Beam).
b. To substitute for (another) in an emergency.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.