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 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 Donald Trump will look no better than Joe McCarthy in the eyes of history -- and neither will his spineless apologists. John Avlon, CNN, 6 May 2021 When Penance has a private conversation with Lavinia’s spineless younger brother Augie, people gawk for all the wrong reasons. Amanda Whiting, Vulture, 18 Apr. 2021 My perception is spineless administrators and tolerant conservatives. WSJ, 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, 24 Feb. 2021

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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Last Updated

20 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Spineless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spineless. Accessed 28 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for spineless



English Language Learners Definition of spineless

: 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

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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