Definition of


  1. (noun, body) the series of vertebrae forming the axis of the skeleton and protecting the spinal cord
  2. (noun, shape) any sharply pointed projection
  3. (noun, plant) a small sharp-pointed tip resembling a spike on a stem or leaf
  4. (noun, artifact) the part of a book's cover that encloses the inner side of the book's pages and that faces outward when the book is shelved
  5. (noun, animal) a sharp rigid animal process or appendage; as a porcupine quill or a ridge on a bone or a ray of a fish fin

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Spine

Derivations: spinal, spinous

Hyponyms: chine, glochid, glochidium, notochord, quill, ray

Hypernyms: aculeus, appendage, outgrowth, part, portion, process, projection, skeletal structure

Origin of the word Spine

  1. c.1400, "backbone," later "thornlike part" (1430), from O.Fr. espine (Fr. ?pine), from L. spina "backbone," originally "thorn, prickle," from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (cf. L. spica "ear of corn," O.N. spikr "nail;" see spike (n.1)). Meaning "the back of a book" is first attested 1922. Spineless in fig. sense of "irresolute" is fr… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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