spine·​less | \ ˈspīn-ləs How to pronounce spineless (audio) \

Definition of spineless

1 : free from spines, thorns, or prickles
2a : having no spinal column : invertebrate
b : lacking strength of character

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Other Words from spineless

spinelessly adverb
spinelessness noun

Examples of spineless in a Sentence

a spineless man who let his wife make all the decisions spineless seamen who trembled at the first roar of the cannon
Recent Examples on the Web My perception is spineless administrators and tolerant conservatives. WSJ, "Academic Freedom Long Ago Withered Away," 4 Mar. 2021 Our lineage split from that of cephalopods—the spineless class that includes octopuses, squids and cuttlefish—half a billion years ago. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, "An Octopus Could Be the Next Model Organism," 24 Feb. 2021 The Republican senators are spineless politicians under the thumb of a ruthless tyrant and his followers. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Impeachment trial, freedom of speech, the cold weather," 16 Feb. 2021 The QAnon fringe has benefits with the GOP as long as Republicans are held hostage by their spineless fear of their dear loser leader/traitor Donald Trump. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "The Grand Old QAnon Party: Fringe with benefits," 7 Feb. 2021 Alabama voters have a soft spot for the likes of you goober, corrupt spineless types. J.d. Crowe | Jdcrowe@al.com, al, "Alabama Coup Klutz Klan: Traitors Mo Brooks, Tuberville and company should resign," 11 Jan. 2021 Trump’s term, Republicans in Congress have shown themselves to be spineless thus far, and Trump just this morning committed to a peaceful transfer of power — execution of the 25th Amendment is unlikely to be successful. Britni De La Cretaz, refinery29.com, "Here’s What Would Happen If The 25th Amendment Is Invoked," 7 Jan. 2021 The spineless echinoderms, which are related to starfish and sea urchins, simply grow their viscera back in a few short weeks. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "14 Fun Facts About Frightening Animals," 30 Oct. 2020 The series also stars Wes Bentley as John's spineless lawyer son, Jamie (perhaps the show's unsung villain), and Josh Holloway as scheming hedge fund manager Roarke Morris. Omar Sanchez, EW.com, "Paramount Network is rebranding — but don't worry, Yellowstone fans," 22 Sep. 2020

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

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for spineless

Time Traveler

The first known use of spineless was in 1827

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Statistics for spineless

Last Updated

17 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spineless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spineless. Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for spineless



English Language Learners Definition of spineless

disapproving : lacking courage or strength
: having no spine or spines


spine·​less | \ ˈspīn-ləs How to pronounce spineless (audio) \

Kids Definition of spineless

1 : lacking spines spineless stems
2 : having no backbone a spineless animal
3 : lacking spirit, courage, or determination

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