- 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.
verb (used without object), back·stopped, back·stop·ping.
- to act as a backstop.
verb (used with object), back·stopped, back·stop·ping.
- 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 -stops, -stopping or -stopped (tr)
- 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.