- having vertebrae; having a backbone or spinal column.
- belonging or pertaining to the Vertebrata (or Craniata), a subphylum of chordate animals, comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column; a major taxonomic group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.
- a vertebrate animal.
Origin of vertebrate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vertebrate
Some 28 percent of the vertebrate species red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature live there.Is Rafael Correa the Next Hugo Chavez?
August 22, 2013
Remember that you are a vertebrate animal, and it is by mistake that you have developed a soul.The Great Hunger
In the scale of evolution, one vertebrate was as good as another.The Education of Henry Adams
He rejects Geoffroy's theory of the vertebrate nature of Articulates.
It is not of the essence of the vertebrate type to be tetrapodal.
Maule appealed to the court: 'My lords, we are vertebrate animals, we are mammalia!Familiar Quotations
- any chordate animal of the subphylum Vertebrata, characterized by a bony or cartilaginous skeleton and a well-developed brain: the group contains fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals
- of, relating to, or belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata
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 vertebrate
1826, from Latin vertebratus (Pliny), from vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (see vertebra).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Having a spinal column.
- Of or characteristic of a vertebrate.
- A member of the subphylum Vertebrata.
- Any of a large group of chordates of the subphylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), characterized by having a backbone. Vertebrates are bilaterally symmetrical and have an internal skeleton of bone or cartilage, a nervous system divided into brain and spinal cord, and not more than two pairs of limbs. Vertebrates have a well-developed body cavity (called a coelom) containing a chambered heart, large digestive organs, liver, pancreas, and paired kidneys, and their blood contains both red and white corpuscles. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.