\ ˈspīn How to pronounce spine (audio) \

Definition of spine

b : something resembling a spinal column or constituting a central axis or chief support
c : the part of a book to which the pages are attached and on the cover of which usually appear the title and author's and publisher's names
2 : a stiff pointed plant process especially : one that is a modified leaf or leaf part — compare prickle sense 1, thorn sense 1a
3 : a sharp rigid process on an animal: such as
a : spicule
b : a stiff unsegmented fin ray of a fish
c : a pointed prominence on a bone

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Other Words from spine

spined \ ˈspīnd How to pronounce spine (audio) \ adjective
spinelike \ ˈspīn-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spine (audio) \ adjective

Examples of spine in a Sentence

This X-ray shows her spine. Hedgehogs are covered with spines. They lack the spine to do what needs to be done.
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Recent Examples on the Web With Ellis already handcuffed, Rankine allegedly placed one knee in the middle of Ellis’s spine and the other near the base of his neck. Washington Post, 28 May 2021 Each time, the vet inserted tiny, thin needles along Heidi’s spine and massaged her. Cathy M. Rosenthal, San Antonio Express-News, 27 May 2021 They are joined back to back at the pelvis and lower spine, each with separate hearts, heads and limbs. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, 26 May 2021 Model and influencer Delilah Hamlin opened up about having scoliosis, sharing a candid photo of her unclothed back with the curve in her spine and uneven shoulder blades visible to her more than 1.4 million Instagram followers. Taylyn Washington-harmon, Health.com, 21 May 2021 The fungus had transformed in his body into spheres packed with spores that migrated via his blood, infiltrating his skull and spine. Maryn Mckenna, Scientific American, 19 May 2021 Jamie Benn pushed his stick into Larkin’s spine after a faceoff late in the April 20th game. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 19 May 2021 This versatile and economically-friendly cushion provides you with advanced spine, neck, and limb support, as well as a viable tool for in-house yoga or mediation. Tim Kohut, BGR, 12 May 2021 Halston had the books in his Montauk home shelved spine in, resulting in a uniform, and unreadable, wall of white. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 10 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spine.' 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 spine

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for spine

Middle English, thorn, spinal column, from Latin spina; perhaps akin to Latin spica ear of grain

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Time Traveler for spine

Time Traveler

The first known use of spine was in the 15th century

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Statistics for spine

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spine. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for spine



English Language Learners Definition of spine

: the row of connected bones down the middle of the back
: a sharp, pointed part on an animal or plant
informal : courage or strength of character


\ ˈspīn How to pronounce spine (audio) \

Kids Definition of spine

2 : a stiff pointed part growing from the surface of a plant or animal


\ ˈspīn How to pronounce spine (audio) \

Medical Definition of spine

2 : a pointed prominence or process (as on a bone)


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