vertebra

noun

ver·​te·​bra ˈvər-tə-brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio) -ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebra (audio)
plural vertebrae ˈvər-tə-ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebra (audio) -(ˌ)brē How to pronounce vertebra (audio) -brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio) or vertebras
: one of the bony or cartilaginous segments composing the spinal column, consisting in some lower vertebrates of several distinct elements which never become united, and in higher vertebrates having a short more or less cylindrical body whose ends articulate by pads of elastic or cartilaginous tissue with those of adjacent vertebrae and a bony arch that encloses the spinal cord

Examples of vertebra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Alex Bowman is also looking to bounce back after missing time last year with a fractured vertebra. Shane Connuck, Charlotte Observer, 3 Feb. 2024 Kelly died hours after the accident and Stéphanie sustained serious injuries, including a concussion and a fractured neck vertebra. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 13 Nov. 2023 Each vertebra weighs over 220 pounds and its ribs measure nearly 5 feet long. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 3 Aug. 2023 Dennis Byrd is paralyzed in his lower body after colliding with teammate Scott Mersereau and breaking his C-5 vertebra in a 23-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2022 The one vertebra is abnormally devoid of bony content, hollowed out like a shallow bowl. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Sep. 2023 Each vertebra weighs more than 220 pounds, and its ribs measure nearly 5 feet long. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 This condition happens when the vertebra is out of alignment. Liz Seegert, Fortune Well, 25 July 2023 Researchers might, for instance, pursue what caused the orca’s vertebra to disintegrate. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vertebra.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin, joint, vertebra, from vertere to turn

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vertebra was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near vertebra

Cite this Entry

“Vertebra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vertebra. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

vertebra

noun
ver·​te·​bra ˈvərt-ə-brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio)
plural vertebrae -ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebra (audio) -brē How to pronounce vertebra (audio)
-brə
or vertebras
: one of the sections of bone or cartilage that make up the spinal column

Medical Definition

vertebra

noun
ver·​te·​bra ˈvərt-ə-brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio)
plural vertebrae -ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebra (audio) -(ˌ)brē How to pronounce vertebra (audio) or vertebras
: any of the bony or cartilaginous segments that make up the spinal column and that have a short more or less cylindrical body whose ends articulate by pads of elastic or cartilaginous tissue with those of adjacent vertebrae and a bony arch that encloses the spinal cord
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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