Definition of invertebrate in English:

invertebrate

Syllabification: in·ver·te·brate
Pronunciation: /inˈvərdəbrət
 
, inˈvərdəbrāt
 
/

noun

An animal lacking a backbone, such as an arthropod, mollusk, annelid, coelenterate, etc. The invertebrates constitute an artificial division of the animal kingdom, comprising 95 percent of animal species and about 30 different phyla. Compare with vertebrate.
More example sentences
  • Other invertebrates, including mollusks and crustaceans, are also part of the diet.
  • Insects and other aquatic invertebrates are also eaten, especially by young birds.
  • During the breeding season they eat mostly insects and other invertebrates.

adjective

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1Of, relating to, or belonging to the invertebrate division of animals.
More example sentences
  • Vertebrate and invertebrate animals, land plants, and protists are all represented as fossils in the Solnhofen Limestone.
  • Sea cucumbers, invertebrate animals of the phylum Echinodermata, might hold out some hope for the afflicted.
  • Most endophytes produce N-rich alkaloid compounds that deter or poison a range of vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores.
1.1 humorous Irresolute; spineless: so invertebrate is today’s Congress regarding foreign policy responsibilities

Origin

early 19th century (as a noun): from modern Latin invertebrata (plural) 'the invertebrates' (former taxonomic group), from French invertébrés, from in- 'without' + Latin vertebra (see vertebra).

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