Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

backup

 - definition
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
noun British English pronunciation: backup /ˈbækʌp/ 
Word Forms
Close
singularbackup
pluralbackups

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] people or equipment that can be used when extra help is needed

    I've got my mother as a backup in case the babysitter cancels.

    They realized that Sykes was armed, and radioed for backup.

    a backup generator/crew

  2. 3
    [uncountable] music mainly American music that is played or sung to add to the main singer's voice

    Her sister goes on tour with her and sings backup.

    a backup vocalist

dark pool

a method of financial trading in which share prices are hidden and not openly available to the public

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

bottom gear

the gear that you use for driving a vehicle very slowly

Open Dictionary

subtweet

to post a tweet, usually a negative one, that mentions a person without using the @ sign, so that they will not see the message on their Twitter feed …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog