1

vertebrate

noun ver·te·brate \ ˈvər-tə-brət , -ˌbrāt \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of vertebrate

: any of a subphylum (Vertebrata) of chordates that comprises animals (such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes) typically having a bony or cartilaginous spinal colum which replaces the notochord, a distinct head containing a brain which arises as an enlarged part of the nerve cord, and an internal usually bony skeleton and that includes some primitive forms (such as lampreys) in which the spinal column is absent and the notochord persists throughout life

Recent Examples of vertebrate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vertebrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of vertebrate

New Latin Vertebrata, from neuter plural of vertebratus


2

vertebrate

adjective

Definition of vertebrate

1 a : having a spinal column
b : of or relating to the vertebrates
2 : organized or constructed in orderly or developed form

Recent Examples of vertebrate from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vertebrate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of vertebrate

New Latin vertebratus, from Latin, jointed, from vertebra


VERTEBRATE Defined for English Language Learners

vertebrate

noun

Definition of vertebrate for English Language Learners

  • biology : an animal that has a backbone


VERTEBRATE Defined for Kids

1

vertebrate

adjective ver·te·brate \ ˈvər-tə-brət \

Definition of vertebrate for Students

: having vertebrae or a backbone
  • Mammals are vertebrate animals.

2

vertebrate

noun

Definition of vertebrate for Students

: an animal (as a fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, or mammal) that has a backbone extending down the back of the body

Medical Dictionary

1

vertebrate

adjective ver·te·brate \ ˈvərt-ə-brət , -ˌbrāt \

medical Definition of vertebrate

1 : having a spinal column
2 : of or relating to the subphylum Vertebrata

2

vertebrate

noun

medical Definition of vertebrate

: an animal of the subphylum Vertebrata


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