[ spahyn-l ]
/ ˈspaɪn l /


of, relating to, or belonging to a spine or thornlike structure, especially to the backbone.


Medicine/Medical. a spinal anesthetic.

Nearby words

  1. spina bifida manifesta,
  2. spina bifida occulta,
  3. spinaceous,
  4. spinach,
  5. spinach-rhubarb,
  6. spinal accessory nerve,
  7. spinal anaesthesia,
  8. spinal analgesia,
  9. spinal anesthesia,
  10. spinal artery

Origin of spinal

1570–80; < Late Latin spīnālis, equivalent to Latin spīn(a) spina + -ālis -al1

Related formsspi·nal·ly, adverbin·ter·spi·nal, adjectivenon·spi·nal, adjectivepre·spi·nal, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spinal

British Dictionary definitions for spinal


/ (ˈspaɪnəl) /


of or relating to the spine or the spinal cord
denoting a laboratory animal in which the spinal cord has been severeda spinal rat


Derived Formsspinally, adverb

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 spinal



1570s, from Late Latin spinalis, from spina (see spine).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for spinal


[ spīnəl ]


Relating to or situated near the spinal column or spinal cord.
Relating to any spine or spinous process.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for spinal


[ spīn ]

See vertebral column.
Any of various pointed projections, processes, or appendages of animals.
A sharp-pointed projection on a plant, especially a hard, narrow modified leaf, as on a cactus, that is adapted to reduce water loss. Compare thorn. See more at leaf.
Related formsspinal adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.