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spineless

[spahyn-lis]
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adjective
  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.
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Origin of spineless

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

Synonyms

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4. weak, irresolute, indecisive.

Antonyms

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

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British Dictionary definitions for spineless

spineless

adjective
  1. lacking a backbone; invertebrate
  2. having no spiny processesspineless stems
  3. lacking strength of character, resolution, or courage
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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

adj.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper