Skeleton Definition

skĕlĭ-tn
skeletons
noun
skeletons
The hard framework of an animal body, supporting the tissues and protecting the organs; specif., all the bones collectively, or the bony framework, of a human being or other vertebrate animal.
Webster's New World
The hard external structure that supports, protects, or contains the body of many invertebrates, such as mollusks, crustaceans, and corals, and certain vertebrates, such as turtles.
American Heritage Medicine
Anything like a skeleton in any of various ways.
Webster's New World
A supporting structure or framework, as of a building.
American Heritage
An outline or sketch.
American Heritage
Antonyms:
carcass
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adjective
Of or like a skeleton; specif., of, or having the nature of, the main or essential outline, framework, etc.
A skeleton plan.
Webster's New World
Of, relating to, or resembling a skeleton.
American Heritage
Greatly reduced.
A skeleton force.
Webster's New World
Of or relating to the sport of skeleton.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
cadaverous
verb

(archaic) To reduce to a skeleton; to skin; to skeletonize.

Wiktionary
(archaic) To minimize.
Wiktionary
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idiom
skeleton in (one's) closet
  • A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.
American Heritage
skeleton at the feast
  • a person or event that brings gloom or sadness to an occasion of joy or celebration
Webster's New World
skeleton in the closet
  • some fact, as about one's family, kept secret because of shame or fear of disgrace
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Skeleton

Noun

Singular:
skeleton
Plural:
skeletons

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Skeleton

Origin of Skeleton

  • 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".

    From Wiktionary

  • Greek skeleton (sōma) dried-up (body) neuter of skeletos from skellesthai to dry up

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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