spinal cord


Definition of spinal cord

: the cord of nervous tissue that extends from the brain lengthwise along the back in the spinal canal, gives off the pairs of spinal nerves, carries impulses to and from the brain, and serves as a center for initiating and coordinating many reflex acts — see brain illustration

Examples of spinal cord in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The dance instructor has used an electric wheelchair since 2018 due to complications of Burkitt lymphoma, which affects her spinal cord. Natasha Dado, PEOPLE.com, 14 Apr. 2022 Ibrahim then repeatedly stabbed the deputy, severely damaging his spinal cord, face and shoulder before another deputy shot Ibrahim. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 14 Mar. 2022 Your spine protects your spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that transmit messages between your brain and pretty much every part of your body. Demetria Wambia, SELF, 17 Feb. 2022 This caused an infection and eventually led to massive inflammation that compressed his spinal cord. Timothy Fanning, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Nov. 2021 In 2001, while in the process of transferring from the U.S. Marine to the Navy to become a Navy SEAL, Sanchez was involved in a motorcycle accident that injured his spinal cord. al, 7 Apr. 2021 One of those other factors might be meningitis, a dangerous and sometimes fatal infection of the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 20 Apr. 2022 The disease is a more serious form of meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2022 According to the Mayo Clinic, M.S. is a rare neurological disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, which makes up the central nervous system. Serena Coady, SELF, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of spinal cord

1834, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for spinal cord

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The first known use of spinal cord was in 1834

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Dictionary Entries Near spinal cord

spinal column

spinal cord

spinal foramen

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Statistics for spinal cord

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spinal cord.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinal%20cord. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spinal cord

spinal cord


Kids Definition of spinal cord

: a thick bundle of nerves that extends from the brain down through the cavity of the backbone and connects with nerves throughout the body to carry information to and from the brain

spinal cord


Medical Definition of spinal cord

: the thick longitudinal cord of nervous tissue that in vertebrates extends along the back dorsal to the bodies of the vertebrae and is enclosed in the spinal canal formed by their neural arches, is continuous anteriorly with the medulla oblongata, gives off at intervals pairs of spinal nerves to the various parts of the trunk and limbs, serves not only as a pathway for nerve impulses to and from the brain but as a center for carrying out and coordinating many reflex actions independently of the brain, and is composed largely of white matter arranged in columns and tracts of longitudinal fibers about a large central core of gray matter somewhat H-shaped in cross section and pierced centrally by a small longitudinal canal continuous with the ventricles of the brain

called also medulla spinalis


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