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a reserve or accumulation, as of stock, work, or business:
a backlog of business orders.
a large log at the back of a hearth to keep up a fire.
Compare forestick.
to hold in reserve, as for future handling or repair.
to enter and acknowledge (an order) for future shipment.
to accumulate in a backlog:
Orders are starting to backlog faster than we can process them.
Contemporary Examples

What about all those promises he made to end the backlog and end homelessness?
As VA Backlog Grows, ‘Baffled’ Veteran Allies Begin to Turn On President Jamie Reno April 7, 2013

Companies may have some backlog, but they have to start taking action.
Government Shuts Down and Private Sector Feels the Pain, Too Daniel Gross October 3, 2013

I personally think the VA should first approve the backlog claims and then audit the claims for accuracy.
As VA Backlog Grows, ‘Baffled’ Veteran Allies Begin to Turn On President Jamie Reno April 7, 2013

Memphis is hardly the only city that has started tackling the backlog.
How the U.S. Ended Up With 400,000 Untested Rape Kits Caitlin Dickson September 22, 2014

As for the backlog, Bellon says it is increasing because so many more troops are coming home.
Will Veterans Lose if Mitt Romney Wins? Jamie Reno July 6, 2012

Historical Examples

The two doors on opposite sides permitted the horse, dragging the backlog, to enter at one and then to go out at the other.
Ox-Team Days on the Oregon Trail Ezra Meeker

Another ten thousand without horses, who formed a backlog of reserves.
Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton

backlog and forestick were soon piled and kindlings laid, and the fire roared and snapped and crackled up the ample chimney.
Poganuc People Harriet Beecher Stowe

When he got it back at last, he eagerly downloaded his backlog of mail.
Makers Cory Doctorow

Had it been worked up as he sketched it in his mind, it would have been the outdoor counterpart of his “backlog Studies.”
The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner Charles Dudley Warner

an accumulation of uncompleted work, unsold stock, etc, to be dealt with
(mainly US & Canadian) a large log at the back of a fireplace

1680s, “large log placed at the back of a fire,” from back (adj.) + log (n.1). Figurative sense of “something stored up for later use” is first attested 1883, but this and the meaning “arrears of unfulfilled orders” (1932) might be from, or suggested by, log (n.2).


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  • Back marker

    noun a competitor who is at the back of a field in a race

  • Back matter

    the parts of a book that appear after the main text, as bibliography, index, and appendixes. Historical Examples Spaced dashes used in some back matter for better wrapping of text. Bert Wilson at the Wheel J. W. Duffield noun the parts of a book, such as the index and appendices, that follow the main text […]

  • Back molding

    a molding, as a backband, applied to interior window and door trim to conceal the edge of the wall surface.

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