spine

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spine / spīn/ • n. 1. a series of vertebrae extending from the skull to the small of the back, enclosing the spinal cord and providing support for the thorax and abdomen; the backbone. ∎ fig. a thing's central feature or main source of strength: players who will form the spine of our team. ∎ fig. resolution or strength of character. ∎  the part of a book's jacket or cover that encloses the inner edges of the pages, facing outward when the book is on a shelf and typically bearing the title and the author's name.2. Zool. & Bot. any hard pointed defensive projection or structure, such as a prickle of a hedgehog, a spikelike projection on a sea urchin, a sharp ray in a fish's fin, or a spike on the stem of a plant. ∎  Geol. a tall mass of viscous lava extruded from a volcano.DERIVATIVES: spined adj. [in comb.] broken-spined paperbacks.

spine

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spine (vertebral column) Backbone of vertebrates, extending from the skull to the tip of the tail and enclosing the spinal cord. The human spine consists of 26 vertebrae, interspersed with discs of cartilage. It articulates with the skull, ribs, and hip bones, and provides points of attachment for the back muscles.

spine

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spine
1. See vertebral column.

2. A hard pointed protective structure on a plant that is formed through modification of a leaf, part of a leaf, or a stipule. The edge of the holly leaf is drawn out into spines, but in cacti the whole leaf is modified as a spine. Compare prickle; thorn.

spine

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spine (spyn) n.
1. a sharp process on a bone.

2. the vertebral column (see backbone).
spinal adj.

spine

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spine backbone XIV (rare before XVII); thorn or thorn-like process XV. Aphetic — OF. epine (mod. épine), or — its source L. spīna thorn, prickle, backbone
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spine

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spine A sharply pointed projection formed from all or part of a modified leaf.