spine

noun \ ˈspīn \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

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 1, thorn 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

spined

play \ˈspīnd\ adjective

spinelike

play \ˈspīn-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of spine in a Sentence

  1. This X-ray shows her spine.

  2. Hedgehogs are covered with spines.

  3. They lack the spine to do what needs to be done.

Recent Examples of spine from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of spine

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

spine Synonyms



SPINE Defined for English Language Learners

spine

noun

Definition of spine for English Language Learners

  • : the row of connected bones down the middle of the back

  • : a sharp, pointed part on an animal or plant

  • : courage or strength of character


SPINE Defined for Kids

spine

noun \ ˈspīn \

Definition of spine for Students

1 :backbone 1
2 :a stiff pointed part growing from the surface of a plant or animal

Medical Dictionary

spine

noun \ ˈspīn \

medical Definition of spine

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


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