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skin and bones

or skin and bone

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a condition or state of extreme thinness, usually the result of malnutrition; emaciation: Anorexia had reduced her to skin and bones.

Origin of skin and bones

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for skin and bones

Historical Examples

  • Toward the end William looked like the skin-and-bones remnant of a saint.

    A Circuit Rider's Wife

    Corra Harris


Idioms and Phrases with skin and bones

skin and bones

Painfully thin, emaciated. This phrase often is expanded to nothing but skin and bones, as in She came home from her trip nothing but skin and bones. This hyperbolic expression—one could hardly be alive without some flesh—dates from the early 1400s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.