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have no backbone

To have no courage, resolve, or strength of character. I just wish Tom would have stood up for our team when the CEO started criticizing our work. For a manager, he seems to have no backbone. These politicians have no backbone. They just do and say whatever will get them elected.
See also: backbone, have, no

put (one's) backbone into (something)

To exert a strong effort toward (doing) something. Come on, we need to get this car off the road. Put your backbone into it and push! It's clear that the legislators have put their backbones into crafting a bill that will find support across party lines, as well in the general population.
See also: backbone, put

put backbone into (one)

To embolden one; to give one courage or determination. All of their encouragement put backbone into me to tell the boss we wanted better working conditions. She was afraid of changing careers, but the thought of staying in this dead end job forever put backbone into Janet.
See also: backbone, put

success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone

Success is achieved through dedication and effort, not one's hopes, dreams, or wishful thinking. You need to work on your writing every single day if you really want to be a famous author because success depends on your backbone, not your wishbone.
See also: depend, not, on, success

to the backbone

Through and through; thoroughly; in every manner or respect. The fellow is stubborn to the backbone; he won't even listen to my plan the whole way through! Though he grew up in America, Henry is still British to the backbone.
See also: backbone, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put backbone into someone

encourage someone to behave resolutely.
As a metaphor for ‘firmness of character’, backbone dates from the mid 19th century.
1998 Spectator There is a widespread belief that if only Mrs Thatcher had still been in No. 10, she would have put backbone into Bush and got rid of Saddam .
See also: backbone, put, someone

to the backbone

in every respect; through and through.
See also: backbone, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. courage; integrity. (Colloquial.) If you had any backbone, you would be able to deal with this.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In January 2025, the Eastern Mindanao 230-kV transmission backbone is targeted for completion.
However, since this scheme prefers to select the vehicles with slow velocities as backbone nodes, its performance is greatly affected when most of the vehicles have much higher velocities than the backbones.
The medical board was of the view that experts for backbone treatment were not available in Pakistan and he should go abroad.
The search of core backbone grid involves nonlinear, multivariate, and discontinuous optimization problem, which depends on artificial intelligence algorithms [15, 16].
The backbone kinetic energy was presented in integral form.
TSIC, ranked as one of the top two global IP backbone providers by internet intelligence authority Renesys, owns and operates its own network across Europe, North America and Asia.
"We take care of the technical part of broadcasting, enabling live remotes, radio automation, setting up the servers, managing connections and logging," said Backbone Vice President Paul Kamp via email.
He concludes his letter by expressing the hope that the hand-wringing leaders from all parties in the House "find some backbone as we did in 1945".
Optical Transport Network is a backhauling optical technology and augments Du's recently launched fibre backbone network.
One solution for improving scalability by reducing routing complexity is the formation of a virtual backbone in the radio network, so that only the nodes that compose the backbone perform routing and forwarding functions.
Usually, flexible spacers, such as methylene spacer with more than 11 repeat units, were introduced between backbone and mesogen group to decouple the limitation of backbones to the mesogen side chains, which usually results in micro-phase separation between backbones and side chains, and form side-chain liquid crystalline polymer or side chain reorientation on surface of polyimide films to obtain pretilt angles (11-15).
12 -- Neurosurgeons stated that the backbone of someone sitting at a work desk carried the equivalent of 350 percent of that person's body weight, and explained that this was a common cause of back pain, during the Sixth Arab Spine Conference held from 11 to13 October in Sana'a.
Summary: BrocadeA (Nasdaq: BRCD) today announced the introduction of the Brocade DCX-4S Backbone, a multipurpose core and edge network switching platform designed to facilitate server, storage area network (SAN), and data center consolidation while helping to reduce infrastructure and administrative costs for IT environments.
Brocade(R) (NASDAQ:BRCD), San Jose, Calif., a leading provider of data center networking solutions that help enterprises connect and manage their information, has introduced the Brocade DCX(TM) Backbone, the first in a new class of high- performance data center networking products designed to address the demanding requirements of the evolving data center.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-12 February 2007-Ericsson wins IP mobile backbone network contract in Bangladesh(C)1994-2007 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD