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 In the end, Shiv makes a comically spineless choice. Scott Tobias, Vulture, 21 Nov. 2021 In a world of spineless invertebrates, Roger Goodell and Rob Manfred had the best weeks. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Oct. 2021 Withholding points of view puts them at risk of exposure later for being spineless or playing politics. Keith Ferrazzi, Forbes, 29 Oct. 2021 Five hundred million years ago, spineless chordates slunk through Earth's Cambrian oceans. Katherine Harmon, Scientific American, 31 Jan. 2010 These ceremonies involved a small, spineless cactus called peyote, which contained a range of phenethylamine alkaloids—most notably mescaline, a high-power hallucinogen. John Semley, The New Republic, 26 July 2021 They’ve been viewed as spineless, cold and only there for the benefit of the employer. Heidi Lynne Kurter, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In the end, Tucker put to bed the idea that Book was spineless. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 24 May 2021 Josh O’Connor‘s portrayal of a tortured, spineless Prince Charles. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 See More

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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The first known use of spineless was in 1827

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Cite this Entry

“Spineless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spineless. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for spineless


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

More from Merriam-Webster on spineless

Nglish: Translation of spineless for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spineless for Arabic Speakers


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