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a person or thing that supports or reinforces another.
a musician or singer or group of musicians or singers accompanying a soloist:
a singer with a three-man backup that plays cello, bass, and guitar.
an overflow or accumulation due to stoppage, malfunctioning, etc.:
a sewage backup; a backup of cars at the tollbooth.
a person, plan, device, etc., kept in reserve to serve as a substitute, if needed.

a copy or duplicate version, especially of a file, program, or entire computer system, retained for use in the event that the original is in some way rendered unusable.
a procedure to follow in such an event.

Bowling. a ball that curves in a direction corresponding to the bowling hand of the bowler.
(of a person, plan, device, etc.) held in reserve as a substitute if needed:
a backup driver; a backup generator.
performing a secondary or supporting function:
A drummer and guitarist are the singer’s backup musicians.
Contemporary Examples

In early October, Health Republic allowed me to submit a “grievance claim” which I filed, along with a pile of backup documents.
My Insurance Company Killed Me, Despite Obamacare Malcolm MacDougall November 23, 2014

But if it comes to a fight, will the Republicans have any backup outside Capitol Hill?
Why the Tea Party Isn’t Touching Financial Reform Benjamin Sarlin April 19, 2010

Now, evangelicals are debating whether churches can embrace contraception as a backup plan.
Evangelicals Struggle to Address Premarital Sex and Abortion David Sessions July 12, 2012

“The designation which we fight for all the time is a hollow designation because there is no backup,” Poe told The Daily Beast.
Exclusive: U.S. Won’t Seize Taliban Ally’s Cash Eli Lake February 6, 2014

Senior centers, with backup generators, were opened as cool stations for those without electricity.
Report From the Blackout Larry Bohannan September 8, 2011

Historical Examples

Now she was off to restore herself from a backup made before she met me.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow

They recovered me from backup and into a force-grown clone at Toronto General.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow

When they woke, this event—everything following the backup—would never have happened for them.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow

I have a backup in my public directory—anyone can examine it.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow

We planned it, then Debra had herself refreshed from a backup—no memory of the event, just the Whuffie for me.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom Cory Doctorow

see back up.
operating system
(“back up” when used as a verb) A spare copy of a file, file system, or other resource for use in the event of failure or loss of the original.
The term commonly refers to a copy of the files on a computer’s disks, made periodically and kept on magnetic tape or other removable medium (also called a “dump”).
This essential precaution is neglected by most new computer users until the first time they experience a disk crash or accidentally delete the only copy of the file they have been working on for the last six months. Ideally the backup copies should be kept at a different site or in a fire safe since, though your hardware may be insured against fire, the data on it is almost certainly neither insured nor easily replaced.
See also backup software, differential backup, incremental backup, full backup. Compare archive, source code management.


Read Also:

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  • Backward analysis

    backward analysis theory An analysis to determine properties of the inputs of a program from properties or context of the outputs. E.g. if the output of this function is needed then this argument is needed. Compare forward analysis. (1997-11-23)

  • Backward and forward

    toward the back or rear. with the back foremost. in the reverse of the usual or right way: counting backward from 100. toward the past: to look backward over one’s earlier mistakes. toward a less advanced state; retrogressively: Since the overthrow of the president the country has moved steadily backward. directed toward the back or […]

  • Backward chaining

    backward chaining algorithm An algorithm for proving a goal by recursively breaking it down into sub-goals and trying to prove these until facts are reached. Facts are goals with no sub-goals which are therefore always true. Backward training is the program execution mechanism used by most logic programming language like Prolog. Opposite: forward chaining. (2004-01-26)

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