vertebrate

noun
ver·​te·​brate | \ ˈvər-tə-brət How to pronounce vertebrate (audio) , -ˌbrāt How to pronounce vertebrate (audio) \

Definition of vertebrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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 column 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

vertebrate

adjective

Definition of vertebrate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of vertebrate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The fossilized critter is an amniote—a land-dwelling vertebrate that lays eggs— and has four legs. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 11 Nov. 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. The New Yorker, 10 Aug. 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. Stephen Marche, The New Yorker, 23 July 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. Stephen Marche, The New Yorker, 23 July 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. Allison Keeley, The New Yorker, 12 July 2021 The strange, gruesome story of the Greenland shark, the longest-living vertebrate on Earth. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 25 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Since 2016, the National Institutes of Health has required scientists to incorporate males and females into the design, analysis and reporting of clinical research studies of people and vertebrate animals. al, 16 Nov. 2021 In reality, only one percent of the world's 1,300 bat species feed on vertebrate prey. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, 28 Oct. 2021 He was convicted on Sept. 7 on three counts of torturing and mutilating a vertebrate animal and faced up to two and a half years in jail. Fox 19 Digital Staff, The Enquirer, 15 Sep. 2021 After three weeks of surveying and uncovering more fossilized pieces of the forest, Francek found what appeared to be vertebrate fossils, Chico State Today reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 May 2021 Qvarnström, a vertebrate paleontologist at Uppsala University, Sweden didn’t recognize the beetles. Shi En Kim, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 June 2021 The juveniles face misdemeanor charges and violations that include: torture or mutilation of a vertebrate animal, use of artificial light to take deer, hunting without landowner consent and criminal trespassing. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 19 July 2021 The misdemeanor charges and violations, according to a news release, include: torture or mutilation of a vertebrate animal, use of artificial light to take deer, hunting without landowner consent and criminal trespassing, among others. Elizabeth Depompei, The Indianapolis Star, 17 July 2021 Echinoderms lie just outside the vertebrate family tree and are probably the closest non-bony relatives of animals with backbones. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, 3 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of vertebrate

Noun

1826, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1820, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vertebrate

Noun

New Latin Vertebrata, from neuter plural of vertebratus

Adjective

New Latin vertebratus, from Latin, jointed, from vertebra

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Time Traveler for vertebrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of vertebrate was in 1820

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Dictionary Entries Near vertebrate

Vertebraria

vertebrate

vertebrated

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Statistics for vertebrate

Last Updated

25 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vertebrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vertebrate. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for vertebrate

vertebrate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vertebrate

: an animal that has a backbone

vertebrate

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

Kids Definition of vertebrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: having vertebrae or a backbone Mammals are vertebrate animals.

vertebrate

noun

Kids Definition of vertebrate (Entry 2 of 2)

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

vertebrate

adjective
ver·​te·​brate | \ ˈvərt-ə-brət How to pronounce vertebrate (audio) , -ˌbrāt How to pronounce vertebrate (audio) \

Medical Definition of vertebrate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

vertebrate

noun

Medical Definition of vertebrate (Entry 2 of 2)

: an animal of the subphylum Vertebrata

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