Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.pl. One of the grand divisions of the animal kingdom, comprising all animals that have a backbone composed of bony or cartilaginous vertebr√¶, together with Amphioxus in which the backbone is represented by a simple undivided notochord. The Vertebrata always have a dorsal, or neural, cavity above the notochord or backbone, and a ventral, or visceral, cavity below it. The subdivisions or classes of Vertebrata are Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Amphibia, Pisces, Marsipobranchia, and Leptocardia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A phylum or prime division of the animal kingdom, containing all those animals which have a backbone or its equivalent; the vertebrates, formerly contrasted with all other animals (Invertebrata), now ranked as one of seven or eight phyla which are severally contrasted with one another.

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

  • n. fishes; amphibians; reptiles; birds; mammals

Etymologies

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