\ 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
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 spined (audio) \ adjective
spinelike \ ˈspīn-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spinelike (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 The infant would be required to get continuous injections of Spinraza into the fluid of her spine, and Scott said the hope would be for the drug to increase both her life expectancy and her quality of life. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Baby with Rare Genetic Disorder in Need of $2.2 Million Gene Therapy Treatment to Save Her Life," 13 July 2020 The bullet went through his neck, narrowly missing his spine. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "‘Terror Bandits’ rock 1926 SF with one of the city’s most horrifying crime sprees," 10 July 2020 Severe scoliosis caused her spine to curve like the rail on a rocking chair. oregonlive, "Until COVID-19 took her life, Sharon McGovern existed in the shadows, fighting to be independent," 3 July 2020 Not everyone likes a square knife spine with precise edges. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Different Ways to use a Survival Knife in an Emergency," 29 May 2020 Baltimore was also the scene of protests in 2015 when Freddie Gray died after suffering a traumatic spine injury while in police custody. Caroline Linton, CBS News, "Columbus statue in Baltimore torn down and thrown in harbor," 5 July 2020 The crenellations of her spine press through the silk dress. Clare Sestanovich, Harper's Magazine, "Annunciation," 23 June 2020 Peyton Manning had a serious spine issue that would likely cost him the season. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, "Bill Polian refutes 'Suck for Luck' strategy by Colts in 2011," 19 June 2020 He has been tentatively accepted at a spine rehabilitation center. BostonGlobe.com, "Thousands join in Sunday prayer and protest in front of the White House," 14 June 2020

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

4 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spine. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for spine


How to pronounce spine (audio)

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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