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

Examples of spinal column in a Sentence

a diagram of the spinal column
Recent Examples on the Web The fall, Reeve's doctors say, caused multiple fractures of the first and second cervical vertebrae in his spinal column, those closest to the skull — a grievous injury that has left the actor paralyzed, unable to use any of his limbs or even to breathe without the aid of a respirator. People Staff, Peoplemag, 27 May 2024 The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa because the nerves originating in the brain cross over into the lower brain stem before entering the spinal column. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 2 May 2024 The stimulation starts in the brain, travels down the spinal column, and out the peripheral nerves to the muscles. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 2 May 2024 In the midst of all of this, Likins also had to have surgery on her spinal column and her vocal cords have suffered. USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2024 This places unnecessary pressure on the spinal column and can result in a significant pain and discomfort. Deirdre Mundorf, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2021 These mistaken marks might lead to spina bifida, a disease in which the spinal column fails to form completely. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 12 Apr. 2023 Neuralink’s application for quadriplegic volunteers, particularly those suffering from spinal column injuries and ALS, is now open. Andrew Paul, Popular Science, 21 Sep. 2023 The damage to her brain and spinal column went undiagnosed. Diane Bell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 June 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of spinal column was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near spinal column

Cite this Entry

“Spinal column.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinal%20column. Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

spinal column


Medical Definition

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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