vertebra

noun
ver·​te·​bra | \ ˈvər-tə-brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio) , -ˌbrā \
plural vertebrae\ ˈvər-​tə-​ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebrae (audio) , -​(ˌ)brē , -​brə How to pronounce vertebrae (audio) \ 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 Allison has just returned to the office from back surgery that fused his L3, L4, and L5 vertebrae, which has slightly diminished his Texas rambunctiousness. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Health," 1 Feb. 2020 The deputy who was hit was hospitalized with multiple injuries, including a concussion, torn calf muscle and damaged vertebrae. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha woman was high when she caused the crash that injured a sheriff's deputy, complaint says," 28 Jan. 2020 The devastating 1986 car crash crunched vertebrae in his neck and lower back. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "How to Break the Bonds of Opioids," 20 Dec. 2019 In 2012, Bynes suffered cracked vertebrae in training camp followed by his release, recovery and return to the roster. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Josh Bynes goes from golf course to middle linebacker in 1 week," 13 Oct. 2019 Gipson was out against the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars due to a transverse process fracture in his back, a painful injury involving the fracture of wing-like bones on the side of the vertebra in the spine. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' Tashaun Gipson on back injury he's recovered from: 'It's terrible'," 27 Nov. 2019 Ndombele's raw abilities show why Daniel Levy broke the bank to sign him, clearly looking like the perfect Pochettino midfielder, the vital vertebrae in Tottenham's new spine. SI.com, "Tottenham's Rebuild Needs to Revolve Around Tanguy Ndombele," 23 Oct. 2019 The baby’s brain and spinal cord were injured, including two fractured vertebrae. Nick Ferraro, Twin Cities, "Burnsville woman sentenced for assaulting infant in her care," 23 Sep. 2019 The sacrum consists of two vertebrae that form a large triangular bone at the bottom of the spine, acting as a wedge between the hip bones. BostonGlobe.com, "With Henry not 100 percent, the Titans made the strategic decision to rest Henry — and still benefitted when the Steelers’ loss to the Jets put the Titans in position Sunday to clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Texans.," 27 Dec. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of vertebra

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vertebra

Latin, joint, vertebra, from vertere to turn

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vertebra

Time Traveler for vertebra

Time Traveler

The first known use of vertebra was in 1578

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vertebra

Last Updated

12 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vertebra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vertebra. Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vertebra

vertebra

noun
How to pronounce vertebra (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vertebra

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

vertebra

noun
ver·​te·​bra | \ ˈvər-tə-brə How to pronounce vertebra (audio) \
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 How to pronounce vertebra (audio) \
plural vertebrae\ -​ˌbrā How to pronounce vertebrae (audio) , -​(ˌ)brē How to pronounce vertebrae (audio) \ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on vertebra

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vertebra

Spanish Central: Translation of vertebra

Nglish: Translation of vertebra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vertebra for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vertebra

Comments on vertebra

What made you want to look up vertebra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!