Also found in: Medical.


adj. Biology
1. Having a spine or spines.
2. Terminating in a spine.

[Late Latin spīnēscēns, spīnēscent-, present participle of spīnēscere, to become thorny, from Latin spīna, thorn.]

spi·nes′cence n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although named for the unarmed petiole, petiole spinescence varies, and
For example, Obeso (1997) showed that browsed branches of holly trees produced leaves with increased spinescence. However, this effect was largely due to a decrease in the size of leaves on browsed branches.