[ in-vur-tuh-brit, -breyt ]
See synonyms for: invertebrateinvertebrates on

  1. Zoology.

    • not vertebrate; without a backbone.

    • of or relating to creatures without a backbone.

  2. without strength of character.

  1. an invertebrate animal.

  2. 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

Words Nearby invertebrate Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use invertebrate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for invertebrate


/ (ɪnˈvɜːtɪbrɪt, -ˌbreɪt) /

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

adjectiveAlso: in'vertebral
  1. 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

Scientific definitions for invertebrate


[ ĭn-vûrtə-brĭt, -brāt′ ]

  1. Having no backbone or spinal column.

  1. 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.