Definition of back up in English:

back up

Translate back up into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1back someone or something up, back up someone or somethingProvide support for someone or something.

    ‘go up there and tell them—I'll back you up’
    • ‘more than 100 uniformed officers and detectives are working on the case, backed up by specialists from the National Crime Agency’
    • ‘U.S. troops were backed up by forces from European countries’
    support, stand by, give one's support to, side with, be on someone's side, take someone's side, take someone's part
    1. 1.1back something up, back up somethingConfirm or corroborate a statement or theory.
      ‘Pedro's story is backed up by the accounts of three other young people who worked on the campaign’
      • ‘she has the data to back up her claim’
      substantiate, corroborate, confirm, support, bear out, endorse, bolster, reinforce, lend weight to
  • 2back something up, back up somethingComputing
    Make a spare copy of data or a disk.

  • 3(of vehicles) form a line due to congestion.

    ‘the traffic began to back up’
    • ‘It is hoped this will combat problems resulting from the queue of taxis backing up into Kings Road.’
    • ‘Contractors are due to start work on January 13 to put in place a series of initiatives that they hope will help to ease congestion at locations where traffic constantly backs up.’
    • ‘Cars and other vehicles queued for hours to reach the fair, backing up through Stow Square and up to the Fosseway.’
    • ‘This can become so congested that at peak times that traffic can back up as far as the motorway.’
    • ‘Cars were parked across the road, and traffic was already beginning to back up.’
    • ‘It was dusk when he began directing traffic, which was backing up at a nearby intersection.’
    • ‘Traffic typically backs up in both the morning and evening rush hours, but drivers are reporting that the new road markings have made the delays much longer than normal.’
    • ‘On the odd occasion during peak times traffic backs up but it seems to be OK most of the time.’
    • ‘You see, you take away half of the road and the traffic backs up.’
    • ‘The result at peak times is that the traffic stops, backs up on to Queen Street bridge and into Blossom Street.’
    • ‘Too many stoplights are a nuisance, backing up traffic, making people late, annoying everyone.’
    • ‘Cars stop in the middle of the road to view wildlife, backing up traffic for miles.’
    • ‘He said traffic was continually backing up around Wood Street and Curzon Street.’
    • ‘Traffic was backing up as far as the motorways as roads in and around the city centre were closed by police.’
    • ‘Diversions were set up along the A4 as traffic backed up to the Cross Keys Inn.’
    • ‘Traffic backed up on to Bradshawgate, Bolton, while he was treated at the scene.’
    • ‘Naturally, being an interstate highway and the only decent road in the state, there are lots of people to inspect, and the traffic backs up for several miles.’
    • ‘And when that traffic backs up, the result is employee downtime and increasing frustration.’
    • ‘As traffic backed up around the barricades, dozens of onlookers stared inside.’
    • ‘Traffic on High Street wishing to turn left or right on to Church Street backs up due to the volume of vehicles at busy times.’
    1. 3.1back something up, back up somethingCause vehicles to form a line due to congestion.
      ‘the traffic was backed up a mile in each direction’
      • ‘all lanes were closed, backing up traffic for miles on the key north–south artery’
    2. 3.2be backed upBe experiencing a backlog of work or other things that need to be dealt with.
      • ‘your car won't be ready today as we're really backed up’
  • 4Move or drive backward.

    ‘she backed up until she found herself against the wall’
    • ‘one of us backed up so the other could pass’
    1. 4.1Explain the background of a situation or return to an earlier point in an account.
      • ‘I know it's a complicated story, so let me back up a little’
  • 5(of running water) accumulate behind an obstruction.

    ‘Often the water backs up because the drains are clogged.’
    • ‘When the sewers become overwhelmed with rainwater the overflows work to ensure water is prevented from backing up in the system.’
    • ‘When the foul water sewer is overcharged, the foul water backs up and can force open the manhole cover in Mr. Marcic's front garden, thereby escaping into the garden.’
    • ‘In earlier testimony, I likened this process to water backing up against a dam that is finally breached.’
    • ‘As more and more water backed up, a temporary lake formed and grew larger and larger.’
    • ‘It's caused by the onset of the dry season, when the water backed up in the Tonie Sap lake begins to drain into the Mekong.’
    • ‘The water began to back up and I had to seize a jug and begin bailing it out into the bath.’
    • ‘There is a limit to the amount of water the River Thames can take, without it backing up and flooding new areas.’