American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The internal structure composed of bone and cartilage that protects and supports the soft organs, tissues, and other parts of a vertebrate organism; endoskeleton.
- n. The hard external supporting and protecting structure in many invertebrates, such as mollusks and crustaceans, and certain vertebrates, such as turtles; exoskeleton.
- n. A supporting structure or framework, as of a building.
- n. An outline or sketch.
- n. Something reduced to its basic or minimal parts.
- n. One that is very thin or emaciated.
- adj. Of, relating to, or resembling a skeleton.
- adj. Reduced to the basic or minimal parts or members: a skeleton crew.
- idiom. skeleton in (one's) closet A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In anatomy, the dry bones of the body taken together; hence, in anatomy and zoology, some or any hard part, or the set of hard parts together, which form a support, scaffold, or framework of the body, sustaining, inclosing, or protecting soft parts or vital organs; connective tissue, especially when hard, as when fibrous, cuticular, corneous, cartilaginous, osseous, chitinous, calcareous, or silicious; an endoskeleton, exoskeleton, dermoskeleton, scleroskeleton, splanchnoskeleton, etc. (See these words.) More speciflcally
- n. The supporting framework of anything; the principal parts that support the rest, but without the appendages.
- n. An outline or rough draft of any kind; specifically, the outline of a literary performance: as, the skeleton of a sermon.
- n. Milit., a regiment whose numbers have become reduced by casualties, etc.
- n. A very lean or much emaciated person; a mere shadow of a man.
- n. In printing, an exceedingly thin or condensed form of light-faced type.
- Of or pertaining to a skeleton; in the form of skeleton; skeletal; lean.
- Consisting of a mere framework, outline, or combination of supporting parts: as, a skeleton leaf; a skeleton crystal.
- To skeletonize.
- n. anatomy The system that provides support to an organism, internal and made up of bones and cartilage in vertebrates, external in some other animals.
- n. A frame that provides support to a building or other construction.
- n. figuratively A very thin person.
- n. A type of tobogganing in which competitors lie face down, and descend head first (compare luge). See Wikipedia:Skeleton (sport)
- n. computing A client-helper procedure that communicates with a stub.
- n. geometry The vertices and edges of a polyhedron, taken collectively.
- n. An anthropomorphic representation of a skeleton. See Wikipedia:Skeleton (undead)
- n. figuratively The central core of something that gives shape to the entire structure.
- v. archaic to reduce to a skeleton; to skin; to skeletonize
- v. archaic to minimize
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The bony and cartilaginous framework which supports the soft parts of a vertebrate animal.
- n. The more or less firm or hardened framework of an invertebrate animal.
- n. A very thin or lean person.
- n. The framework of anything; the principal parts that support the rest, but without the appendages.
- n. The heads and outline of a literary production, especially of a sermon.
- adj. Consisting of, or resembling, a skeleton; consisting merely of the framework or outlines; having only certain leading features of anything
- n. the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape
- n. a scandal that is kept secret
- n. something reduced to its minimal form
- n. the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal
- From Ancient Greek σκελετός (skeletos, "dried up, withered, dried body, parched, mummy"), from σκελλώ (skellō, "dry, dry up, make dry, parch"), from Proto-Indo-European *skele- "to parch, whither;" compare Greek Σκληρός "hard". (Wiktionary)
- Greek skeleton (sōma), dried-up (body), neuter of skeletos, from skellesthai, to dry up. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The vertebrates, be it remembered, possess practically the same organs as the lower forms of life, but differ from them most materially by the possession of the _internal_ skeleton, the lower forms having an _external_ or outside _skeleton_, which latter is merely a hardening of the skin.”
“Jr. 's run to gold at Salt Lake City, this year's story in skeleton is much darker.”
“They've shown for the first time that the skeleton is an endocrine organ that helps control our sugar metabolism and weight and, as such, is a major determinant of the development of type 2 diabetes.”
“I remember Pinkney when he was painting the picture, Bryanstone being then a youth in what they call a skeleton suit (as if such a pig of a child could ever have been dressed in anything resembling a skeleton) -- I remember, I say, Mrs.B. sitting to Pinkney in a sort of Egerian costume, her boy by her side, whose head the artist turned round and directed it towards a piece of gingerbread, which he was to have at the end of the sitting.”
“He has been running, jumping, shooting and participating in skeleton offensive and defensive drills.”
“Time to re-roast an old chestnut, a column I wrote several years that has become fresh in my mind due to the successful completion last night of Operation Dress-the-Tree (to be followed in a few weeks, of course, by Operation Curse-the-Tree as the needle-shedding skeleton is hauled out to the alley).”
“After Jon Montgomery won a gold medal for Canada in skeleton, he walked through the streets of Whistler guzzling from a pitcher of beer.”
“Kuhn was particularly fascinated with pigments containing forty carbon atoms in their structural backbone, especially xanthophylls, because their carbon skeleton is related to one of the structural constituents of chlorophyll.”
“February 18th, 2009 when digging deeper what you find, the skeleton is best left behind”
“A popular theme for Day of the Dead, this skeleton is on display year round in Mexico's Museo Nacional de la Muerte (National Museum of Death) in Aguascalientes.”
A calavera, or "skull" takes the form of a bride in this sculpture. A popular theme for Day of the Dead, this skeleton is on display year round in Mexico's Museo Nacional de la Muerte (National Museum of Death) in Aguascalientes. © Diodora Bucur, 2009
These user-created lists contain the word ‘skeleton’.
A collection of words found in English that are either purely Greek or have Greek etymology.
Please add with caution and certainty. Will be regularly updated by me.
words from a novel by mark haddon
My big word list.
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Words I like mostly because of the way they sound and feel.
Words which are highly likely to be found in the work of learned writers.
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