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 An example of the first school: the pitiful and spineless Joe McGinniss. Robert Gottlieb, New York Times, "Emmanuel Carrère’s Disconcertingly Personal and Utterly Gripping Prose," 12 Dec. 2019 Before and during the House debate Wednesday, Democrats blamed the extremely partisan nature of the Trump impeachment fight on spineless Republicans circling the wagons around Trump while ignoring clear presidential misconduct. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin delegation follows partisan pattern in impeachment vote; Ron Kind votes yes," 18 Dec. 2019 Some were even interviewed — in a practice once called journalism — about all the types of stupid, spineless felt creatures, including the exotic varieties. John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Post Thanksgiving Hangover and the Madness of Crowds.," 29 Nov. 2019 Calamitous, lacklustre, spineless, seemingly unaccountable no matter how many errors, poorly led. SI.com, "Why Placing So Much Expectation on the Returning Defensive Trio Is Dangerous Ploy By Arsenal Fans," 18 Sep. 2019 Tom sort of flips between being spineless to quite plausible; really, really vile to quite sweet and sympathetic. Meredith Blake, chicagotribune.com, "Matthew Macfadyen is as mortified by ‘Succession’ as you are," 12 Aug. 2019 These experimental trees — only about 2,000 exist so far — grow erect, spineless and fast, while still being able to survive and thrive the in harsh, semi-arid climate of South Texas. Richard A. Marini, ExpressNews.com, "Argentina helping to improve the native Texas mesquite," 22 Oct. 2019 More like Chance the worthless, spineless, d—less, soulless, purposeless, virtueless sellout. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Insulted Again! Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Lizzo and More Musicians Read Mean Tweets About Themselves," 14 Nov. 2019 The spineless, silent Bob Kraft and the Patriots get no points for this move. BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots get no points for releasing Antonio Brown - The Boston Globe," 21 Sep. 2019

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

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spineless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spineless. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for spineless


How to pronounce spineless (audio)

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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