- any of the stiff, sharp-pointed, superficial emergences on a plant, as on a rose, thistle, or cactus
- a sharp process of bone
- any of the sharp, stiff projections on the bodies of certain animals, as the quill of a porcupine or a ray of a fish's fin
- anything resembling either of these projections
- the spinal column; backbone
- anything regarded as resembling a backbone, as
- a ridge of ground, crest of a hill, etc.
- the part of a bound book covering the backbone, and usually bearing the title and author's name
- courage, willpower, etc.
Origin of spineMiddle English from Old French espine from Classical Latin spina, thorn, prickle, backbone: see spike
- The spinal column of a vertebrate.
- Zoology Any of various pointed projections, processes, or appendages of animals.
- Botany a. A strong, sharp-pointed outgrowth derived from a leaf or leaf part.b. Any of various similar sharp structures, such as a thorn.
- Something that resembles or suggests a backbone, as:a. The hinged back of a book.b. The crest of a ridge.
- Strength of character; courage or willpower.
Origin of spineMiddle English from Old French espine from Latin spīna
From Old French espine (modern French Ã©pine) or its source, Latin spÄ«na.