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

At times, the dancers’ formation calls to mind a spine. Taylor Hosking, The Atlantic, "Beyonce and Jay-Z’s New Vision of Gender in ‘Apeshit’," 22 June 2018 In this show, a gecko’s sticky toes lead to a super adhesive, edible shelters are grown from trees, and a sculpture mimics a spine. BostonGlobe.com, "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 25 May 2018 Led by a strong spine up the middle with a trio of four-year starters, Olympian knows the recipe how to get there and appear ready to make a run at the Division II tournament. Kevin J. Farmer, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Olympian softball strength is up the middle," 10 May 2018 Terrell Moore and Jack Bynum — 22-year-old redheads who dubbed their team the Ginger Geminis — were expected to be the second team on Denali but climbing via the technical Cassin Ridge route that follows a 9,000-foot spine of rock and ice. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Climbers’ human waste is making a Denali glacier toxic. The park service is demanding change.," 24 Apr. 2018 My body has changed with my withering muscles, giving me a curved spine and tilted hips from muscles that are too weak to support my frame. Madison Lawson, Teen Vogue, "I'm in a Wheelchair and This Is What It Meant to See Someone Like Me in a Fashion Ad," 10 Apr. 2018 For most people, a slight forward lean is necessary to keep the spine in a nice straight line. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Here’s What Proper Running Form Actually Is and How Much You Should Care About It," 2 Apr. 2019 Prickly pear cactus spines are actually very efficient compared to other cacti for puncturing (shown in a recent study). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The United States' Oldest Tattoo Needle Is an Inked-Up Cactus Spine," 28 Feb. 2019 So begins the boy’s disorienting confinement in a story that is as spine-tingling as it is well written. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Freakiness and Fortitude," 19 July 2018

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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