Definition of invertebrate in English:

invertebrate

noun

  • An animal lacking a backbone, such as an arthropod, mollusc, annelid, coelenterate, etc. The invertebrates constitute an artificial division of the animal kingdom, comprising 95 per cent of animal species and about thirty different phyla.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Later, become predators and feed on insects, invertebrates, and other small fish.’
    • ‘In the spring, their diet includes a higher proportion of invertebrates such as insects and snails.’
    • ‘Small insects and other invertebrates make up most of the American Redstart's diet.’
    • ‘Insects, spiders, and other invertebrates make up most of the Hermit Warbler's diet.’
    • ‘Smaller vertebrates and invertebrates are also known in abundance from France and Bavaria.’
    • ‘They feed by sucking juices from soft-bodied invertebrates through a long proboscis.’
    • ‘These distinctions correspond closely to our distinction between vertebrates and invertebrates.’
    • ‘Fish eat snails in their shells and hard-shelled crustacea as well as invertebrates with exoskeletons.’
    • ‘The exhibit is currently home to more than 70 species of fish, invertebrates and corals.’
    • ‘It is typical of vertebrates but rare among invertebrates, being seen in a few molluscs and arachnids.’
    • ‘Living horseshoe crabs feed on molluscs, worms, and other tasty and nutritious marine invertebrates.’
    • ‘The saw is also used as a digging tool to probe in mud and sand in search of crustaceans and other small invertebrates.’
    • ‘While studies have been done in mammals and other vertebrates less is known of invertebrates.’
    • ‘Gudgeon love feeding upon copepods, tiny shelled invertebrates that form swarms just above the river bed.’
    • ‘North American river otters are important predators of fish and aquatic invertebrates.’
    • ‘In many cases, the adhesive gels secreted by invertebrates are described as mucus.’
    • ‘Aquatic invertebrates are also eaten, especially by breeding females and the young.’

adjective

  • 1Denoting an invertebrate or relating to the invertebrates as a group.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Odorant-binding proteins are present in the olfactory systems of both vertebrate and invertebrate animals, but these gene families are not related.’
    • ‘Echinoderms are considered the invertebrate group most closely related to the vertebrates.’
    • ‘Minerals, mushrooms, higher and lower plants, invertebrate and vertebrate animals make up the richest museum collection on the Balkan Peninsula.’
    • ‘We vertebrates do not stand higher and later than our invertebrate cousins, for all ‘advanced’ animal phyla made their first appearance in the fossil record at essentially the same time.’
    • ‘The invertebrate ancestors of vertebrates had gill slits, but these were used primarily for filter feeding; these organisms took up most of the oxygen they needed through the skin.’
    • ‘Serotonin has been demonstrated to enhance excitability and spike output in vertebrate and invertebrate neurons.’
    • ‘The possible role of fibroblast growth factors in organization of the limb blastema is explored and the similarities between vertebrate and invertebrate control of regeneration are discussed.’
    • ‘Returning to the United States in 1894, he joined the faculty of the University of California, teaching and carrying out research in both vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology.’
    • ‘Once vertebrate and invertebrate eyes were established hundreds of millions of years ago, evolution continued borrowing genes and fine-tuning them for new situations.’
    • ‘Amphioxus is the closest living invertebrate relative of the vertebrates, and is key to understanding the evolution of vertebrates from an invertebrate ancestor.’
    • ‘They are a common adaptation in organisms that use internal fertilization, and have arisen multiple times in a number of vertebrate and invertebrate lineages.’
    • ‘He then told us that these first life-forms evolved into bacteria and then into the invertebrate animals, as well as plants.’
    • ‘Anhydrobiosis is a state of suspended animation certain invertebrate animals enter in response to severe drought.’
    • ‘Given the high heritability of sideroxylonal and its effectiveness as a deterrent against vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores, it is surprising that undefended trees persist in the population.’
    • ‘Over the last decade, we have become increasingly aware that environmental contaminants act through multiple mechanisms to alter endocrine functioning in vertebrate and invertebrate species.’
    • ‘The senior students were keen to observe the invertebrate marine animals, such as starfish, urchins and crustaceans.’
    • ‘While ubiquitous among vertebrates, it occurs less frequently in invertebrate phyla.’
    1. 1.1humorous 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).

Pronunciation

invertebrate

/ɪnˈvəːtɪbrət/