Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A congenital defect in which the spinal column is imperfectly closed so that part of the meninges or spinal cord protrudes, often resulting in hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders. Also called schistorrhachis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A birth defect resulting in a cleft in the spinal column through which the spinal membranes and spinal cord may protrude. It is characterised by hydrocephalus and other neurological disorders.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • A congenital malformation in which the spinal column is cleft at its lower portion, and the membranes of the spinal cord project as an elastic swelling from the gap thus formed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a not uncommon congenital defect in which a vertebra is malformed; unless several vertebrae are affected or there is myelomeningocele there are few symptoms; can be diagnosed by amniocentesis

Etymologies

New Latin spīna bifida : Latin spīna, spine + Latin bifida, feminine of bifidus, split in two.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I had spina bifida occulta, a minor birth defect in my spine that had gone undiagnosed for 32 years.

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