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

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 Furrer, a co-author of the study, also uncovered other fossils, including large vertebra and rib fragments from a second ichthyosaur and seven large vertebrae from a third. NBC News, 28 Apr. 2022 If Barash and his colleagues are right, the 'Ubeidya vertebra may reveal a more complicated story. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2022 On a recent day in Nuevo Laredo, gloved hands sifted through the dirt, separating out bits of bone: a piece of a jaw, a skull fragment, a vertebra. MarÍa Verza, ajc, 28 Feb. 2022 His fifth cervical vertebra was crushed and his spinal cord injured, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. New York Times, 9 Mar. 2022 But Suntok’s field notes contained a vital clue: near the shoulder-blade fragment, the lawyer found a fossilized atlas—the vertebra from the base of a whale’s skull. Devon Bidal, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Feb. 2022 Riding over the tree on her bike, Belair said she was launched into the air, crushing the C1 vertebra in her neck and fracturing her T3, T5, and T7 vertebrae upon landing. The Editors, Outside Online, 28 Jan. 2015 Producers are the backbone of every song listeners grow to love—especially amid the lilts and thumps of Latin genres like reggaetón, dembow, Latin trap, and R&B en Español—but too often this musical vertebra is constructed by cis men. Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo, refinery29.com, 12 Dec. 2021 The owner of the 'Ubeidya vertebra almost certainly didn't think of her life in those terms. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for vertebra

Time Traveler

The first known use of vertebra was in 1578

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Dictionary Entries Near vertebra

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Statistics for vertebra

Last Updated

1 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vertebra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vertebra. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for vertebra

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 vertebra (audio) , -​(ˌ)brē How to pronounce vertebra (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

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