in·​ver·​te·​brate | \ (ˌ)in-ˈvər-tə-brət How to pronounce invertebrate (audio) , -ˌbrāt How to pronounce invertebrate (audio) \

Definition of invertebrate

1 : lacking a spinal column also : of, relating to, or concerned with invertebrate animals
2 : lacking in strength or vitality : weak

Other Words from invertebrate

invertebrate noun

Examples of invertebrate in a Sentence

an invertebrate Congress that blithely went along with the President's ill-conceived plan
Recent Examples on the Web There's no doubt that Blean Woods is already humming with invertebrate life. Victoria Turk, Wired, 19 July 2022 Surveying invertebrate life is freelance ecologist and entomologist Graeme Lyons. Victoria Turk, Wired, 19 July 2022 Warmer, more acidic waters may also produce less of the invertebrate prey the whales prefer. Brian Handwerk, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 July 2022 Thermal cameras or x-ray technology used to detect vertebrates doesn’t work for most invertebrate species. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2022 Over four pounds of that rock went toward studying invertebrate life, exposing insects to the lunar particles by mixing it with their food. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 1 June 2022 When the law was updated in 1984 under Gov. George Deukmejian, the reference to invertebrates was removed, but the new law protected the Trinity bristle snail, an invertebrate mollusk that lives on land. Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 May 2022 Octopuses are a specific type of invertebrate called cephalopods. Erin Spencer, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 In a small room in a building at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, the invertebrate keeper, Emma Califf, lifts up a rock in a plastic box. New York Times, 3 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of invertebrate

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for invertebrate

New Latin invertebratus, from Latin in- + New Latin vertebratus vertebrate

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Time Traveler for invertebrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of invertebrate was in 1819

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Dictionary Entries Near invertebrate



inverted arch

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Statistics for invertebrate

Last Updated

23 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Invertebrate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for invertebrate


in·​ver·​te·​brate | \ in-ˈvər-tə-brət How to pronounce invertebrate (audio) \

Kids Definition of invertebrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having no backbone an invertebrate animal



Kids Definition of invertebrate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an animal (as a worm or a crab) that does not have a backbone


in·​ver·​te·​brate | \ (ˈ)in-ˈvərt-ə-brət How to pronounce invertebrate (audio) , -ˌbrāt How to pronounce invertebrate (audio) \

Medical Definition of invertebrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an animal having no backbone or internal skeleton



Medical Definition of invertebrate (Entry 2 of 2)

: lacking a spinal column also : of or relating to invertebrate animals

More from Merriam-Webster on invertebrate

Nglish: Translation of invertebrate for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about invertebrate


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