Backstop



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.
Contemporary Examples

After the corporate split, the paper will no longer have blockbuster movies to backstop it.
New York Post Looks Thinner After News Corporation Split David Freedlander July 17, 2013

It could serve as a backstop for Mitt, bringing him over the top at the last possible moment.
The GOP’s Chaotic Primary Calendar Makes Early Nomination Clinch Tough John Avlon February 16, 2012

On the other, you risk ballooning one into the backstop in front of 50,000 people.
Viral Video of the Day: Chrissy Teigen’s Drunken Dodger Pitch Jack Holmes August 6, 2014

And Perry thinks TARP was a total mistake—along with all subsequent efforts to backstop or stimulate the economy.
Perry’s Entitlement Problem Andrew Romano August 11, 2011

Historical Examples

It facilitates the game if the end of each court may be a wall or fence, and thus make sort of a backstop behind the goal.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium Jessie H. Bancroft

Since the warning he had used the horizon as a backstop for all his shots.
Frank of Freedom Hill Samuel A. Derieux

He left Miss Fitzgerald to serve into the backstop and walked across the court to where Madge stood.
The Whirligig of Time Wayland Wells Williams

Still, it was unusual, and the lieutenant who served as combination secretary and backstop for oratory quaked as he listened.
Prologue to an Analogue Leigh Richmond

Finally, the tenth shot smacked against the backstop and he racked his weapon and punched at the target return button.
The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole

The backstop was built up of earth and was soft enough so that the pins would not splinter on striking it.
Castle of Terror E.J. Liston

noun
(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
n.

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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