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

Synonyms for spinal column


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of spinal column in a Sentence

a diagram of the spinal column
Recent Examples on the Web In the second stage, those signals enter your spinal column and, in a handoff monitored and sometimes tweaked by nearby glia, jump to other neurons within the spinal cord. New York Times, 9 Nov. 2021 This can happen if cancer metastasizes into the spinal column, says Dr. Taiwo. Jessie Van Amburg, Health.com, 20 Sep. 2021 Avoid cuts to the spinal column, which is where chronic wasting disease has been found to have the most infectivity. Anton L. Delgado, The Arizona Republic, 29 May 2021 But injuries limited him to 19 games the past two years, most notably the revelation that the former Boise State player has always had spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that makes neck injuries more risky. BostonGlobe.com, 3 May 2021 To detect malignant lesions, the team focused on three areas most likely to contain secondary malignant growth in people with cancer -- the spinal column, pelvis and thigh bone. Katie Hunt, CNN, 29 Apr. 2021 Spinal stenosis is when a major nerve structure, a nerve root or the spinal cord itself, is compressed by hard structures around the spinal column, such as the bones and ligaments. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 28 Apr. 2021 His sister, Ontarriah Braxton, 13, is currently in Children’s of Alabama with a fractured spinal column. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al, 30 Mar. 2021 Some minimally invasive techniques for brain surgery already rely on snaking slender endoscopes and surgical instruments up through the spinal column to reach the skull. Sam Dean, Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of spinal column

1831, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About spinal column

Time Traveler for spinal column

Time Traveler

The first known use of spinal column was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near spinal column

spinal canal

spinal column

spinal cord

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spinal column

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spinal column.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinal%20column. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for spinal column

spinal column


English Language Learners Definition of 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


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!