spine

noun
\ 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 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

Take a spine-tingling spin on Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree and check out all the frightful additions from Scary the Scare-car to the creepy, crawly Spider-car at Flo’s V8 Café. Advertorial, Orange County Register, "Tips From Disney Expert: 13 ‘Spooktacular’ Photo Moments During Halloween Time," 15 Sep. 2019 The network had previously released a short, spine-chilling teaser of the documentary but the full trailer wasn't released until Friday. Emily Caron, SI.com, "HBO Releases Moving Trailer for Upcoming Diego Maradona Documentary," 13 Sep. 2019 Some of the vines ooze red sap, and many are covered in skin-tearing spines. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "In search of the ‘white Jaguar’: Archaeologists travel deep into the jungle to find a lost Maya city," 5 Sep. 2019 The surprise is that the glare of that spotlight only stiffens Gun’s spine. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "In ‘Official Secrets,’ Keira Knightley speaks truth to power," 4 Sep. 2019 Beneath Glinda’s tulle outfit is a spine of steel—and a belief that a young woman like Dorothy could grow one and become independent, too. Pam Grossman, The Atlantic, "The Wizard of Oz Invented the ‘Good Witch’," 25 Aug. 2019 There was a 5,500-page trial transcript that sort of became the spine of the narrative. Angela Serratore, Smithsonian, "The Bootleg King and the Ambitious Prosecutor Who Took Him Down," 1 Aug. 2019 Like the curves of spines and the shapes of noses, home is, for each of us, a shade different. Nneka Mcguire, Washington Post, "How do you heal after losing a childhood home? In ‘The Yellow House,’ Sarah M. Broom wonders.," 4 Sep. 2019 Uni has a tang of iodine, sometimes, and is always a treat for the eye, as rust-orange as the Golden Gate Bridge and protected by its carapace of spines (black-red or purple from the West Coast, sometimes green-tinged from the East). Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Preparing uni and lobster," 19 June 2019

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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More Definitions for spine

spine

noun

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

spine

noun
\ ˈspīn How to pronounce spine (audio) \

Kids Definition of spine

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

spine

noun
\ ˈspīn How to pronounce spine (audio) \

Medical Definition of spine

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on spine

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spine

Spanish Central: Translation of spine

Nglish: Translation of spine for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spine for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spine

Comments on spine

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