• synonyms


[spahy-nes-uh nt]
  1. Botany.
    1. becoming spinelike.
    2. ending in a spine.
    3. bearing spines.
  2. Zoology. somewhat spinelike; coarse, as hair.
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Origin of spinescent

First recorded in 1785–95, spinescent is from the Late Latin word spīnēscent- (stem of spīnēscēns, present participle of spīnēscere to grow thorny). See spine, -escent
Related formsspi·nes·cence, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spinescent

Historical Examples of spinescent

  • Resembles the first species somewhat in habit, size, and the spinescent capillitium, but the resemblance is superficial only.

    The North American Slime-Moulds

    Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride

  • Characters of Dipsacus, but the green leaves of the involucre and involucels not rigid nor spinescent.

  • In the Pear and Sloe all gradations occur between spines and spine-like (spinescent) branches.

British Dictionary definitions for spinescent


adjective biology
  1. having or resembling a spine or spines
  2. becoming spiny
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Derived Formsspinescence, noun

Word Origin for spinescent

C18: from Late Latin spīnēscere to become thorny, from Latin spīna a thorn
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