View synonyms for bone


[ bohn ]


  1. Anatomy, Zoology.
    1. one of the structures composing the skeleton of a vertebrate.
    2. the hard connective tissue forming the substance of the skeleton of most vertebrates, composed of a collagen-rich organic matrix impregnated with calcium, phosphate, and other minerals.
  2. such a structure from an edible animal, usually with meat adhering to it, as an article of food:

    Pea soup should be made with a ham bone.

  3. any of various similarly hard or structural animal substances, as ivory or whalebone.
  4. something made of or resembling such a substance.
  5. a small concession, intended to pacify or quiet; a conciliatory bribe or gift:

    The administration threw the student protesters a couple of bones, but refused to make any basic changes in the curriculum or requirements.

  6. bones,
    1. the skeleton.
    2. a body:

      Let his bones rest in peace.

    3. Games Slang. dice.
    4. (initial capital letter) Mr. Bones.
    5. a simple rhythm instrument consisting of two sometimes curved bars or short strips of bone, ivory, wood, or the like, held between the fingers of one hand and clacked together.
  7. the color of bone; ivory or off-white.
  8. a flat strip of whalebone or other material for stiffening corsets, petticoats, etc.; stay.
  9. Games Slang. a domino.

verb (used with object)

, boned, bon·ing.
  1. to remove the bones from:

    to bone a turkey.

  2. to put whalebone or another stiffener into (clothing).
  3. Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse with:

    He was boning his best friend's wife!

  4. Agriculture. to put bone meal into (feed, fertilizer, etc.).


  1. bone tired.



/ bəʊn /


  1. any of the various structures that make up the skeleton in most vertebrates
  2. the porous rigid tissue of which these parts are made, consisting of a matrix of collagen and inorganic salts, esp calcium phosphate, interspersed with canals and small holes osseousosteal
  3. something consisting of bone or a bonelike substance
  4. plural the human skeleton or body

    they laid his bones to rest

    come and rest your bones

  5. a thin strip of whalebone, light metal, plastic, etc, used to stiffen corsets and brassieres
  6. plural the essentials (esp in the phrase the bare bones )

    to explain the bones of a situation

  7. plural dice
  8. See doctor
    plural an informal nickname for a doctor
  9. close to the bone
    close to the bonenear the bone
    1. risqué or indecent

      his jokes are rather close to the bone

    2. in poverty; destitute
  10. feel in one's bones
    feel in one's bones to have an intuition of
  11. have a bone to pick
    have a bone to pick to have grounds for a quarrel
  12. make no bones about
    make no bones about
    1. to be direct and candid about
    2. to have no scruples about
  13. point the bone
    point the bone often foll by at
    1. to wish bad luck (on)
    2. to threaten to bring about the downfall (of)


  1. to remove the bones from (meat for cooking, etc)
  2. to stiffen (a corset, etc) by inserting bones
  3. to fertilize with bone meal
  4. taboo.
    to have sexual intercourse with
  5. See steal
    a slang word for steal



/ bon /


  1. See Annaba
    a former name of Annaba


/ bōn /

  1. The hard, dense, calcified tissue that forms the skeleton of most vertebrates, consisting of a matrix made up of collagen fibers and mineral salts. There are two main types of bone structure: compact, which is solid and hard, and cancellous, which is spongy in appearance. Bone serves as a framework for the attachment of muscles and protects vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and lungs.
  2. See more at osteoblast
  3. Any of the structures made of bone that constitute a skeleton, such as the femur. The human skeleton consists of 206 bones.

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈboneless, adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of bone1

First recorded before 900; Middle English bo(o)n, Old English bān; cognate with Old Frisian, Old Saxon bēn, Dutch been “bone,” Old Norse bein “bone, leg,” German Bein “leg”; from Germanic bainam

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of bone1

Old English bān ; related to Old Norse béin , Old Frisian bēn , Old High German bein

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. bone up, Informal. to study intensely; cram:

    We're going to have to bone up for the exam.

  2. feel in one's bones, to think or feel intuitively:

    She felt in her bones that it was going to be a momentous day.

  3. have a bone to pick with someone, to have cause to disagree or argue with someone:

    The teacher had a bone to pick with him because his homework paper was identical with his neighbor's.

  4. make no bones about,
    1. to deal with in a direct manner; act or speak openly:

      He makes no bones about his dislike of modern music.

    2. to have no fear of or objection to.
  5. to the bone,
    1. to the essentials; to the minimum:

      The government cut social service programs to the bone.

    2. to an extreme degree; thoroughly:

      chilled to the bone.

More idioms and phrases containing bone

  • bare bones
  • chilled to the bone
  • cut to the bone
  • feel in one's bones
  • funny bone
  • make no bones about
  • pull a boner
  • roll the bones
  • skin and bones
  • work one's fingers to the bone

Discover More

Example Sentences

Not long after I was finally diagnosed, my doctor ordered a bone density scan.

Later studies showed that only gaining weight and the return of natural menstruation help improve bone density.

My doctor put me on oral contraceptives to induce a period, figuring it would help build bone.

This leaves people with a history of anorexia and reduced bone density like me at high risk for fractures.

An x-ray two hours later confirms my hunch: my tibia (the big bone behind the shin) is snapped clean in two.

I saw this girl, eight or nine years old, all benumbed and nothing but skin and bone.

Large mononuclear leukocytes probably originate in the bone-marrow or spleen.

That we will, and you never need want, Mark, for I've many a fine bone buried away against old age and rainy weather.

Myelocytes are the bone-marrow cells from which the corresponding granular leukocytes are developed.

Polymorphonuclear leukocytes are formed in the bone-marrow from neutrophilic myelocytes.


Related Words

Word of the Day


[flab-er-gast ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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