[ in-vur-tuh-brit, -breyt ]
/ ɪnˈvɜr tə brɪt, -ˌbreɪt /


  1. not vertebrate; without a backbone.
  2. of or relating to creatures without a backbone.
without strength of character.


an invertebrate animal.
a person who lacks strength of character.

Origin of invertebrate

From the New Latin word invertebrātus, dating back to 1820–30. See in-3, vertebrate

OTHER WORDS FROM invertebrate

in·ver·te·bra·cy [in-vur-tuh-bruh-see], /ɪnˈvɜr tə brə si/, in·ver·te·brate·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for invertebrate

British Dictionary definitions for invertebrate

/ (ɪnˈvɜːtɪbrɪt, -ˌbreɪt) /


any animal lacking a backbone, including all species not classified as vertebrates

adjective Also: in'vertebral

of, relating to, or designating invertebrates
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Medical definitions for invertebrate

[ ĭn-vûrtə-brĭt, -brāt′ ]


Lacking a backbone or spinal column; not vertebrate.
Of or relating to invertebrates.


An animal, such as an insect or a mollusk, that lacks a backbone or spinal column.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for invertebrate

[ ĭn-vûrtə-brĭt, -brāt′ ]


Having no backbone or spinal column.


An animal that has no backbone or spinal column and therefore does not belong to the subphylum Vertebrata of the phylum Chordata. Most animals are invertebrates. Corals, insects, worms, jellyfish, starfish, and snails are invertebrates.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.