spina bifida


spi·​na bi·​fi·​da ˌspī-nə-ˈbi-fə-də How to pronounce spina bifida (audio)
: a congenital cleft of the spinal column with hernial protrusion of the meninges and sometimes the spinal cord

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The doctor explained that the baby might have a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida. Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, 8 Feb. 2023 Cash has spina bifida, a condition that affects his spine and relegates him to a wheelchair, but doesn’t confine his energy and enthusiasm for basketball and life. Dallas News, 5 Jan. 2023 He was born in Maryland with spina bifida, a condition in which the backbone and the spinal cord do not develop properly, and began participating in adaptive sports programs as a young child. Talya Minsberg Clark Hodgin, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2022 Mark Chenoweth has spina bifida, a birth defect that leaves the spinal cord exposed or otherwise unprotected by vertebrae. Christian Millman, Discover Magazine, 23 Oct. 2019 The youngest babies are sometimes the most underserved: Many families, and even doctors, don’t realize that children born with conditions like Down syndrome and spina bifida automatically qualify for early intervention, as do most babies who spend time in hospital neonatal intensive care units. Sarah Carr, USA TODAY, 7 Mar. 2023 October is awareness month for eye injuries (and home eye safety), breast cancer, ADHD, dental hygiene, Down syndrome, spina bifida, sudden infant death syndrome and sudden cardiac arrest, which most people are probably immediately aware of. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Oct. 2022 Vaccinations will expand the week of Jan. 25 to those age 75 and older and those with certain developmental and medical disorders, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, congenital heart disease and Type 1 diabetes. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 12 Jan. 2021 Wheelz, 29, who has endured 23 surgeries to correct physical disabilities due to the spinal condition spina bifida, is a seasoned extreme athlete and has performed the front flip before. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 22 Feb. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'spina bifida.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, literally, spine split in two

First Known Use

1720, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spina bifida was in 1720

Dictionary Entries Near spina bifida

Cite this Entry

“Spina bifida.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spina%20bifida. Accessed 28 May. 2023.

Medical Definition

spina bifida

spina bi·​fi·​da
-ˈbif-ə-də also -ˈbīf-
: a neural tube defect marked by congenital cleft of the spinal column usually with hernial protrusion of the meninges and sometimes the spinal cord see meningocele, myelocele, myelomeningocele
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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