definitions
  • synonyms

invertebrate

[ in-vur-tuh-brit, -breyt ]
/ ɪnˈvɜr tə brɪt, -ˌbreɪt /
|
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR invertebrate ON THESAURUS.COM

adjective

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

noun

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

RELATED WORDS

wimp, pet, beast, creature, coward, misfit, crybaby, baby, chicken, pushover, dotard, jellyfish, poltroon, yellow, pessimist, mouse, alarmist, cur, dastard, shirker

Nearby words

inversive, invert, invert soap, invert sugar, invertase, invertebrate, invertebrates, inverted comma, inverted commas, inverted mordent, inverted pleat

Origin of invertebrate

From the New Latin word invertebrātus, dating back to 1820–30. See in-3, vertebrate
Related formsin·ver·te·bra·cy [in-vur-tuh-bruh-see] /ɪnˈvɜr tə brə si/, in·ver·te·brate·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for invertebrate

British Dictionary definitions for invertebrate

invertebrate

/ (ɪnˈvɜːtɪbrɪt, -ˌbreɪt) /

noun

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

Word Origin and History for invertebrate

invertebrate


n.

1826, from Latin in- "not" (see in- (1)) + vertebra "joint" (see vertebra). Invertebrata as a biological classification was coined 1805 by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832). As an adjective by 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for invertebrate

invertebrate

[ ĭn-vûrtə-brĭt, -brāt′ ]

adj.

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

n.

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.

Science definitions for invertebrate

invertebrate

[ ĭn-vûrtə-brĭt, -brāt′ ]

Adjective

Having no backbone or spinal column.

Noun

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.