Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

spine

play
noun \ˈspīn\

Simple Definition of spine

  • : the row of connected bones down the middle of the back

  • : a sharp, pointed part on an animal or plant

  • : courage or strength of character

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of spine

  1. 1a :  spinal columnb :  something resembling a spinal column or constituting a central axis or chief supportc :  the part of a book to which the pages are attached and on the cover of which usually appear the title and author's and publisher's names

  2. 2 :  a stiff pointed plant process; especially :  one that is a modified leaf or leaf part

  3. 3 :  a sharp rigid process on an animal: asa :  spiculeb :  a stiff unsegmented fin ray of a fishc :  a pointed prominence on a bone

spined

play \ˈspīnd\ adjective

spinelike

play \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of spine in a sentence

  1. This X-ray shows her spine.

  2. Hedgehogs are covered with spines.

  3. They lack the spine to do what needs to be done.



Origin and Etymology of spine

Middle English, thorn, spinal column, from Latin spina; perhaps akin to Latin spica ear of grain


First Known Use: 15th century



SPINE Defined for Kids

spine

play
noun \ˈspīn\

Definition of spine for Students

  1. 1 :  backbone 1

  2. 2 :  a stiff pointed part growing from the surface of a plant or animal




Medical Dictionary

spine

play
noun \ˈspīn\

Medical Definition of spine

  1. 1:  spinal column

  2. 2:  a pointed prominence or process (as on a bone)





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up spine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the act or an instance of embezzling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

frightening formless massive experimental
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ