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

For one, the new specimen has 10 fewer vertebrae than Mollisquama parini. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This New Shark Species Looks Like a Tiny Sperm Whale," 22 July 2019 The new species may also have as many as 10 fewer vertebrae than the other one, called Mollisquama parini. Janet Mcconnaughey, BostonGlobe.com, "Pocket-sized shark squirts glowing clouds from pockets," 20 July 2019 The new species may also have as many as 10 fewer vertebrae than the other one, called Mollisquama parini. Washington Post, "Pocket-sized shark squirts glowing clouds from pockets," 19 July 2019 The new species may also have as many as 10 fewer vertebrae than the other one, called Mollisquama parini. Janet Mcconnaughey, chicagotribune.com, "A shark discovered in the Gulf of Mexico is a new species that can fit in your pocket and squirt glowing clouds into the ocean," 19 July 2019 Tail: Unlike modern birds, Archaeopteryx had vertebrae running through its tail, and asymmetrical tail feathers. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Origins of Flight, From Birds to Bugs to Planes," 21 June 2019 The smallest of the eight species and the only one with black skin, this pangolin has 47 vertebrae in its tail, more than in the tail of any other mammal. Paul Hilton, National Geographic, "Poaching is sending the shy, elusive pangolin to its doom," 17 June 2019 His fourth back surgery was to fuse together vertebrae. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, nola.com, "A day at the Masters unlike any other: Tiger Woods takes his place in sports history," 15 Apr. 2019 In April 2017, Woods, 42, underwent a last-resort lumbar fusion operation, which involved replacing a disk with a bone graft, causing two vertebrae to grow together and eliminating the motion between them. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Tiger Woods Didn’t Win Again. But He Will.," 3 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

13 Aug 2019

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

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

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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

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