vertebrate

[vur-tuh-brit, -breyt]
adjective
1.
having vertebrae; having a backbone or spinal column.
2.
belonging or pertaining to the Vertebrata (or Craniata), a subphylum of chordate animals, comprising those having a brain enclosed in a skull or cranium and a segmented spinal column; a major taxonomic group that includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.
noun
3.
a vertebrate animal.

Origin:
1820–30; < Latin vertebrātus jointed. See vertebra, -ate1

nonvertebrate, adjective, noun
subvertebrate, noun, adjective
unvertebrate, adjective
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World English Dictionary
vertebrate (ˈvɜːtɪˌbreɪt, -brɪt)
 
n
1.  any chordate animal of the subphylum Vertebrata, characterized by a bony or cartilaginous skeleton and a well-developed brain: the group contains fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals
 
adj
2.  of, relating to, or belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vertebrate
1826, from L. vertebratus (Pliny), from vertebra "joint or articulation of the body, joint of the spine" (see vertebra).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

vertebrate ver·te·brate (vûr'tə-brĭt, -brāt')
adj.

  1. Having a spinal column.

  2. Of or characteristic a vertebrate.

n.
A member of the subphylum Vertebrata.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
vertebrate   (vûr'tə-brĭt, -brāt')  Pronunciation Key 
Any of a large group of chordates of the subphylum Vertebrata (or Craniata), characterized by having a backbone. Vertebrates are bilaterally symmetrical and have an internal skeleton of bone or cartilage, a nervous system divided into brain and spinal cord, and not more than two pairs of limbs. Vertebrates have a well-developed body cavity (called a coelom) containing a chambered heart, large digestive organs, liver, pancreas, and paired kidneys, and their blood contains both red and white corpuscles. Vertebrates include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They both claim to have identified the world's smallest known vertebrate.
They were also the first to note that the lancelet resembles a vertebrate.
It is also true that the introduction of big money has permanently changed
  vertebrate paleontology.
But the mammalian system was thought to represent a general rule among
  vertebrate species.
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