- the spinal or vertebral column; backbone.
- any backbonelike part.
- a stiff, pointed process or appendage on an animal, as a quill of a porcupine, or a sharp, bony ray in the fin of a fish.
- something, as a quality or trait, that constitutes a principal strength; resolution; stamina; backbone: a situation that would test a person's spine.
- a ridge, as of ground or rock.
- a sharp-pointed, hard or woody outgrowth on a plant; thorn.
- Bookbinding. the back of a book cover or binding, usually indicating the title and author.
Origin of spine
Examples from the Web for spine
Morris struggled to straighten his back, which involved stiffening a spine rarely used.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’
January 7, 2015
The results were awful: marked osteoporosis in the spine, hip, and femur.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
He survived, Risner says, but was left permanently injured by a bullet to his spine.Drug Smuggler Sues U.S. Over Dog Bite
December 10, 2014
Its spine, too, “‘hubbed’ as the most prized European classics are,” is decorated with delicate gold squiggles and a star.Rand Paul’s Many Leather-Bound Books
November 27, 2014
Dr. Neal is a spine surgeon who made a trip to heaven while drowning in a kayak accident in South America.Book Bag: Reading Your Way Out Of Grief
October 16, 2014
"Yes, dear: that is, if you and I take the spine," replied the old lady.
Later I learned that his spine had been broken, that he would be paralyzed for life.The Harbor
Such a tingle shot up Gibson's spine that he was sure he must have jumped.Irresistible Weapon
Horace Brown Fyfe
For the present he can but prescribe a purgative and a massage of the arm and spine.The Book of Khalid
Why you'd put any other man's back up until he broke his spine.The Universal Reciter
- the spinal column
- the sharply pointed tip or outgrowth of a leaf, stem, etc
- zoology a hard pointed process or structure, such as the ray of a fin, the quill of a porcupine, or the ridge on a bone
- the back of a book, record sleeve, etc
- a ridge, esp of a hill
- strength of endurance, will, etc
- anything resembling the spinal column in function or importance; main support or feature
Word Origin and History for spine
c.1400, "backbone," later "thornlike part" (early 15c.), from Old French espine (French épine), from Latin spina "backbone," originally "thorn, prickle," from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (cf. Latin spica "ear of corn," Old Norse spikr "nail;" see spike (n.1)). Meaning "the back of a book" is first attested 1922.
- spinal column
- Any of various short pointed projections, processes, or appendages of bone.