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spine +‎ -ous, or borrowed from Latin spinōsus.



spinous (comparative more spinous, superlative most spinous)

  1. Having many spines.
    • 1824, Oliver Goldsmith, A History of the Earth, and Animated Nature - Volume 3, page 32:
      The cetaceous tribes have their bones entirely resembling those of quadrupeds, thick, white, and filled with marrow : those of the spinous kind, on the contrary, have small slender bones, with points resembling thorns, and generally solid throughout.
    • 1968, Edmond V. Malnate, Natrix Dunni, a New Species of Watersnake from Malaysia, →ISBN:
      The organs are simple and spinous, the spines small distally on the organ, larger proximally.
  2. Spine-like; spiny.
    • 1824, Thomas Horsfield, Zoological Researches in Java, and the Neighbouring Islands:
      It is however to be remarked, that these hairs are not of a spinous nature, as in the Mus fasciculatus and the Mus macrourus; they may properly be compared to bristles, having more consistence and rigidity than those of the Mus decumanus and giganteus; and in a natural arrangement, our animal stands between these species, and between those from which the character of the section is derived by M. Desmarest, and which, in a more rigorous sense, may be called spinous Rats.
    • 1886, John Ruskin, Proserpina: Studies of Wayside Flowers:
      And yet — you are not to confuse the thistle with the cedar that is in Lebanon ; nor to forget — if the spinous nature of it become too cruel to provoke and offend — the parable of Joash to Amaziah, and its fulfilment : " There passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle."
  3. (obsolete) Of a person: difficult to deal with, prickly.
    • 1836, The Southern literary messenger - Volume 2, page 353:
      He had the rough magnanimity of the old English vein, mellowed into tenderness and dashed with a flexible and spinous humor.
    • 1838, Charles Lamb, Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, The Works of Charles Lamb, page 102:
      They were coevals, and had nothing but that and their benchership in common. In politics Salt was a whig, and Coventry a stanch tory. Many a sarcastic growl did the latter cast out — for Coventry had a rough spinous humour — at the political confederates of his associate, which rebounded from the gentle bosom of the latter like cannon balls from wool. You could not ruffle Samual Salt.
    • 1905, The Gentleman's Magazine - Volume 299, page 599:
      For rough spinous humour few could beat Socrates. In Plato we have this humour toned down into a refined irony.
  4. (rare) Of a subject: providing many difficulties, thorny.
    • 2006, A. N. Linke, Trends in Chemical Physics Research, →ISBN, page 84:
      The spinous problem shifted from the how to find minima efficiently to what method should be employed to provide a better connection between the topography and the dynamics on the surface.
    • 2006, Giuseppe Ballacci, “Rethinking Political Community From Neglected Places”, in European Consortium for Political Research, Joint Sessions, Nicosia Cyprus 15-30 April 2006:
      In this paper we have dealt with a very spinous issue such as the relation between the contingent and transcendent of human life and its meaning for politics.
    • 2011, Yancey Banks, “Profile”, in Stage 32:
      My screenplays address a variety of upbeat as well as spinous issues, including family dysfunction, physical abuse, and the unknown gauntlet of the wild. Casting Director, and Film Production Consultant.
    • 2014, Alejandro Aviles, Alessandro Bravetti, Salvatore Capozzziello, & Orlando Luongo, “Precision cosmology with Padé rational approximations: theoretical predictions versus observational limits”, in Physical Review D, volume 90:
      The convergence problem probably represents the most spinous issue of cosmography.
  5. (anatomy) Having a sharp projection.
    • 2012, Richard Drake, Richard Lee Drake, & Wayne Vogl, Gray's Basic Anatomy, →ISBN, page 36:
      The spinous process of vertebra CII can be identified through deep palpation as the most superior bony protuberance in the midline inferior to the skull.
    the spinous processes of the lumbar vertebrae

Derived terms[edit]