vertebra

noun
ver·te·bra | \ˈvər-tə-brə, -ˌbrā\
plural vertebrae\ˈvər-tə-ˌbrā, -(ˌ)brē, -brə \ or vertebras

Definition of vertebra 

: 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

One had a fractured vertebra and a second had a collapsed lung, multiple facial fractures and bleeding on the brain. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee man charged with drunk or drugged driving in single-car crash that injured 2 after Summerfest," 3 July 2018 Another fractured facial bones, ribs and vertebrae. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, "Texas Investigators Seek Felony Fleeing-the-Scene Charge Against Prominent Oil Lawyer," 28 June 2018 Earlier in his career, Castle allowed a stress fracture in his back to heal on its own, and the disc between his L4 and L5 vertebrae shifted in such a way that left Castle in pain. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The Week in Wrestling: Who Is The Best World Champion Right Now?," 27 June 2018 But after about 15 years, severe back pain from crushed vertebrae forced him into early retirement and disability payments. Jessica Wapner, Newsweek, "The Cancer Epidemic in Central Appalachia," 19 July 2015 CBS News has learned that Garland suffered multiple broken vertebrae and a brain bleed. CBS News, "FBI: New details suggest border patrol agent's death was an accident," 21 Feb. 2018 Later, during a mission on the German-Dutch border to rescue missing British soldiers, his truck went over a land mine, launching him 50 feet in the air and breaking his arm, three vertebrae and two ankles. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "A One-Eyed Québécois ‘Rambo’ Captures Imaginations in Canada," 27 May 2018 Such technology can be used to create personalized implants such as vertebrae or to fabricate just-right tools for use in the operating room. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "Surgeons are using 3-D-printed organs to figure out the best way to operate," 11 June 2018 The arches of the vertebrae of his spine haven’t closed. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "This Ancient Mummified Bird Is Actually a Mummified Baby," 2 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vertebra.' 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 vertebra

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vertebra

Latin, joint, vertebra, from vertere to turn

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Statistics for vertebra

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vertebra

The first known use of vertebra was in 1578

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More Definitions for vertebra

vertebra

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vertebra

: one of the small bones that are linked together to form the backbone

vertebra

noun
ver·te·bra | \ˈvər-tə-brə \
plural vertebrae\-ˌbrā, -brē \

Kids Definition of vertebra

: one of the bony sections making up the backbone

vertebra

noun
ver·te·bra | \ˈvərt-ə-brə \
plural vertebrae\-ˌbrā, -(ˌ)brē \ or vertebras

Medical Definition of vertebra 

: 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

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