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[kraws-bohnz, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˌboʊnz, ˈkrɒs-/
plural noun
a representation of two bones placed crosswise, usually below a skull, to symbolize death.
Origin of crossbones
First recorded in 1790-1800; cross- + bone + -s3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crossbones
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Up goes the black flag, and the skull and crossbones to the fore.

  • The crossbones as hung on the masthead o' the Spittin' Devil.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • Skull and crossbones was too obvious, and my next choice was The Gibbet.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • The flag was black, and in the centre were a white skull and crossbones!

    Freaks on the Fells R.M. Ballantyne
  • These warnings were obeyed, for there was a skull and crossbones at the top of the poster.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • Mystery, secret gates, skull and crossbones, and nobody home!

    Gold Out of Celebes Aylward Edward Dingle
  • The skull and crossbones flared and snapped loudly and derisively.

    For the Honor of the School Ralph Henry Barbour
British Dictionary definitions for crossbones


plural noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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