A skeleton crew.
When there are only a few limited people working, just enough to keep the business open, this is an example of a skeleton crew.
The internal bone and cartilage structure that supports the body are an example of a skeleton.
- A very lean or emaciated person or animal.
- A supporting framework, as of a building or ship.
- An outline or preliminary sketch, as of a novel.
- The meager or devitalized remains of something.
A skeleton plan.
A skeleton force.
She lost so much weight while she was ill that she became a skeleton.
RMI Nomenclature: in RMI, the client helper is a 'stub' and the service helper is a 'skeleton'.
She dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.
The skeleton of the organisation is essentially the same as it was ten years ago, but many new faces have come and gone.
- A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.
- A person or event that brings gloom or sadness to an occasion of joy or celebration.
- Some fact, as about one's family, kept secret because of shame or fear of disgrace.
Origin of skeleton
- Greek skeleton (sōma) dried-up (body) neuter of skeletos from skellesthai to dry up
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Ancient Greek ÏƒÎºÎµÎ»ÎµÏ„ÏŒÏ‚ (skeletos, “dried up, withered, dried body, parched, mummy"), from ÏƒÎºÎµÎ»Î»ÏŽ (skellÅ, “dry, dry up, make dry, parch"), from Proto-Indo-European *skele- "to parch, whither;" compare Greek Î£ÎºÎ»Î·ÏÏŒÏ‚ "hard".