a wall, wire screen, or the like, serving to prevent a ball from going too far beyond the normal playing area.
Baseball. the catcher.
a person or thing that serves as a support, safeguard, or reinforcement:
There were technicians on board as backstops to the automated controls.
to act as a backstop.
to act as a backstop to:
The government agreed to backstop companies that invested in oil exploration.
(sport) a screen or fence to prevent balls leaving the playing area
a block or catch to prevent excessive backward movement, such as one on the sliding seat of a rowing boat
verb (transitive) -stops, -stopping, -stopped
(US) to provide with backing or support

1819, in cricket, from back (adj.) + stop. In U.S. baseball, from 1889, “fence behind the catcher;” figurative extension to “catcher on a baseball team” is from 1890. The verb is attested from 1956 in the sense of “support.” Related: Backstopped; backstopping.


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