spine

spine, backbone, back, vertebrae, chine designate the articulated column of bones which is the central and axial feature of the skeleton of human beings and other vertebrate animals. Spine, backbone, back, and vertebrae can be used without distinction, but one of the first three is more likely to be chosen when the structure is considered as a unit, and the last when its composite structure is pertinent. Spine and backbone are more often used in reference to human beings than to lower vertebrates; spine is often felt as more technical than backbone and is likely to be preferred when the intent is to appear informed or knowledgeable
{

the doctor recommended an operation on my brother's spine

}
{

don't sit like that, you'll kink your backbone

}
but spine is also appropriate when vertebrae could be misleading
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fractured his spine and injured three vertebrae

}
Back, more often than spine or backbone, applies to the bony column together with ligaments and muscles that support it and collectively make up a distinguishable part of the vertebrate body
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broke his back in a fall

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a badly wrenched back

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Vertebrae is likely to occur in technical anatomical use and-in general use is often preferred when the reference is to other than human beings.
Chine has lost this basic meaning except indirectly in application to meat animals, in which it is applied to a cut of meat including part of the backbone
{

a chine of beef

}

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spine — or Spinal may refer to:Medicine*Vertebral column, commonly known as the backbone **Spinal anaesthesia, a type of regional anaesthetic **Lumbar puncture, a colloquial term for which is a spinal tap ** Spine (journal), a bi weekly peer reviewed… …   Wikipedia

  • Spine — Spine, n. [L. spina thorn, the spine; akin to spica a point: cf. OF. espine, F. [ e]pine. Cf. {Spike}, {Spinet} a musical instrument, {Spinny}.] 1. (Bot.) A sharp appendage to any of a plant; a thorn. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A rigid and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spine — [ spaın ] noun ** 1. ) count the row of bones down the middle of your back: BACKBONE, SPINAL COLUMN 2. ) count the edge of a book where all the pages are attached 3. ) count a sharp point on a plant or animal 4. ) uncount INFORMAL courage:… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • spine — sharp hard bony structures on the skeleton or skin, e.g. preopercular spines. Both serve as predator deterrents a usually stiff, sharp, dermal rod which supports and or arms the fin; spinous ray. Lacks segments and is not laterally paired as are… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • spine — [spaın] n ↑backbone, ↑breastbone, ↑collarbone, ↑kneecap, ↑pelvis, ↑skull, ↑spine, ↑rib [Date: 1300 1400; : Latin; Origin: spina] 1.) the row of bones down the centre of your b …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • spine — c.1400, backbone, later thornlike part (early 15c.), from O.Fr. espine (Fr. épine), from L. spina backbone, originally thorn, prickle, from PIE *spei sharp point (Cf. L. spica ear of corn, O.N. spikr nail; see SPIKE (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Spine — In hand made lace, points decorating the cordonnet …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • spine — [n] backbone back, bone, chine, rachis, ridge, spinal column, vertebrae, vertebral column; concepts 393,420 …   New thesaurus

  • spine — ► NOUN 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. 2) a central feature or main source of strength. 3) the part of a book… …   English terms dictionary

  • spine — [spīn] n. [ME < OFr espine < L spina, thorn, prickle, backbone: see SPIKE1] 1. any of the stiff, sharp pointed, superficial emergences on a plant, as on a rose, thistle, or cactus 2. a) a sharp process of bone b) any of the sharp, stiff… …   English World dictionary

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