spinal column


Definition of spinal column

: the axial skeleton of a vertebrate that consists of an articulated series of vertebrae which extend from the neck to the tail and protect the spinal cord

called also backbone, vertebral column

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Synonyms for spinal column


backbone, chine, spine, vertebral column

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Examples of spinal column in a Sentence

a diagram of the spinal column

Recent Examples on the Web

The entire spinal column is lined on either side with very strong erector muscles that support the core. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Kid Probably Has "Text Neck" — Here's What You Need to Know," 1 Mar. 2019 The trip sent South Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon to the hospital with injuries to her neck muscles and a bruised spinal column. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Ballistic Reentry: How Astronauts Survive a Failed Launch," 11 Oct. 2018 In most people, the spinal column is made up of 33 stacked vertebrae that house and protect the nerves of the spinal cord and the bundle of nerves that sits below it. Korin Miller, SELF, "Chrissy Teigen Wants to Know If She Can Get a Bikini Wax During Her Epidural," 15 May 2018 Doctors also found a potentially fatal heart problem and a collapsed vertebrae in Charlie’s spinal column. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A Mother's Day gift for a struggling baby: loving attention," 13 May 2018 The complications include inflammation of the brain, pancreas, testicles and ovaries, as well as the covering of the brain and spinal column. Kate Murphy, Cincinnati.com, "There's a mumps outbreak at the University of Cincinnati. Are you vaccinated?," 18 Apr. 2018 Multifidus The multifidus is a muscle that extends the length of the spinal column and helps to stabilizes joints in the spine. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Missing these muscles?," 10 Apr. 2018 Novichok agents are said to be particularly effective at penetrating the central nervous system (that is, the brain and spinal column) and causing more severe neurological symptoms than is typical for other nerve agents. Martin Boland, Scientific American, "What We Know about Novichok, the ‘Newby’ Nerve Agent Linked to Russia," 14 Mar. 2018 The opening leaks spinal fluid, and the base of the brain can sink into the spinal column and be harmed by pressure. Denise Grady, New York Times, "After Surgery in the Womb, a Baby Kicks Up Hope," 15 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spinal column.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of spinal column

1831, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spinal column

The first known use of spinal column was in 1831

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More Definitions for spinal column

spinal column


Kids Definition of spinal column

spinal column


Medical Definition of spinal column

: the articulated series of vertebrae connected by ligaments and separated by more or less elastic intervertebral fibrocartilages that in nearly all vertebrates forms the supporting axis of the body and a protection for the spinal cord and that extends from the hind end of the skull through the median dorsal part of the body to the coccyx or end of the tail

called also backbone, spine, vertebral column

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Comments on spinal column

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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