See more synonyms for spineless on Thesaurus.com
  1. having no spines or quills.
  2. having no spine or backbone.
  3. having a weak spine; limp.
  4. without moral force, resolution, or courage; feeble: a spineless, lily-livered coward.

Origin of spineless

First recorded in 1820–30; spine + -less
Related formsspine·less·ly, adverbspine·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for spineless

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Antonyms for spineless

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for spineless


  1. lacking a backbone; invertebrate
  2. having no spiny processesspineless stems
  3. lacking strength of character, resolution, or courage
Derived Formsspinelessly, adverbspinelessness, noun
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 spineless

1827, of animals, from spine + -less. Meaning "lacking moral force" is from 1885. Related: Spinelessly; spinelessness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper