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 Once the article was criticized widely on social media, scholars associated with Hypatia piled on, and a group of associate editors issued a spineless apology on Facebook. Thomas Chatterton Williams, Harper's Magazine, "A Game of Chance," 15 Sep. 2020 Online tools can give structure to a seemingly spineless day, but a good old notebook and pen works just as well. Candice Wang, Popular Science, "Eight tips for boosting mental health at college in the age of COVID-19," 14 Aug. 2020 Now, the cuttlefish brings the number of spineless creatures known to possess the trait up to two. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Velcroed 3-D Glasses to Cuttlefish to Study Their Depth Perception," 8 Jan. 2020 Lower taxes, no spineless leadership or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences ... BostonGlobe.com, "NYC police officer could get year in jail following shoving incident during May protest," 9 June 2020 Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences... Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "'We're hiring': Florida police group tells jailed and disciplined officers to come work in state," 8 June 2020 Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences... Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, USA TODAY, "Florida chapter of Fraternal Order of Police tells disciplined, jailed cops 'we are hiring'," 8 June 2020 Lower taxes, no spineless leadership, or dumb mayors rambling on at press conferences. NBC News, "Sheriff suspends Florida police group head over posts relating to use of force accusations across U.S.," 10 June 2020 America is looking to its representatives to act like LEADERS with courage, not spineless sheep in hiding. Paul Cobler, Dallas News, "Several Texas Republicans decline to wear masks during House debate on coronavirus relief," 23 Apr. 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

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Spineless.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spineless. Accessed 27 Sep. 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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