[ spahy-nuhs ]
See synonyms for spinous on Thesaurus.com
  1. covered with or having spines; thorny, as a plant.

  2. armed with or bearing sharp-pointed processes, as an animal.

Origin of spinous

1630–40; <Latin spīnōsus;see spine, -ous

Other words from spinous

  • spi·nous·ness, noun
  • in·ter·spi·nous, adjective
  • mul·ti·spi·nous, adjective
  • post·spi·nous, adjective
  • sub·spi·nous, adjective

Words Nearby spinous

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use spinous in a sentence

  • Under a lens, they usually appear covered with spinous eminences, arranged like scales.

  • The back bone receives its name, spine, or spinal column, from these spinous processes.

    A Treatise on Domestic Economy | Catherine Esther Beecher
  • The lower leaves of this plant are spinous and very glaucous, and the upper ones palmate.

    The Sea Shore | William S. Furneaux
  • The arches or spinous processes are the occipital crest, the parietals, the frontals, and the nasals.

    Form and Function | E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • The fifth and sixth generations are now growing without exhibiting the least tendency to revert to the spinous form.

    On the Genesis of Species | St. George Mivart

British Dictionary definitions for spinous


/ (ˈspaɪnəs) /

  1. resembling a spine or thorn: the spinous process of a bone

  2. having spines or spiny projections

  1. another word for spinose

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