- one of the structures composing the skeleton of a vertebrate.
- 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.
verb (used with object), boned, bon·ing.
- bones of digits,
- to deal with in a direct manner; act or speak openly: He makes no bones about his dislike of modern music.
- to have no fear of or objection to.
- to the essentials; to the minimum: The government cut social service programs to the bone.
- to an extreme degree; thoroughly: chilled to the bone.
Origin of bone
Examples from the Web for bones
Instead of being strong and resilient, bones become weak and brittle.
My surgeon told me my bones were so soft he could barely install the screws.
But even if the great conqueror lies elsewhere, the Kasta bones might well be those of his wife.
Chiefly, we forgot the many, many problems there are with the bones—the book and score—to this show.‘Peter Pan Live!’ Review: No Amount of Clapping Brings It to Life|Kevin Fallon|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Sticks and stones may break my bones / but chains and whips excite me.
I was told that the bones were not replaced but that sticks were inserted to maintain the fingers in proper shape.
The devi filled his mouth, tore off the flesh, and threw the bones to the three brothers.Georgian Folk Tales|Unknown
The operation is carried out on the same lines as for recent fracture, the ends of the bones being rawed and adhesions divided.
Our horses were so exhausted and thin that on their bones we could have hung our overcoats.Beasts, Men and Gods|Ferdinand Ossendowski
The cartilaginous ends of the bones grow rapidly, but ossification does not keep pace with it.Special Report on Diseases of Cattle|U.S. Department of Agriculture
- risqué or indecenthis jokes are rather close to the bone
- in poverty; destitute
- to be direct and candid about
- to have no scruples about
- to wish bad luck (on)
- to threaten to bring about the downfall (of)
verb (mainly tr)
Word Origin for bone
plural of bone (n.). As a colloquial way to say "dice," it is attested from late 14c. As a nickname for a surgeon, it dates to 1887, short for sawbones. To make bones about something (mid-15c.) refers to bones found in soup, etc., as an obstacle to being swallowed. To feel something in one's bones "have a presentiment" is 1867, American English.
Old English ban "bone, tusk," from Proto-Germanic *bainam (cf. Old Frisian ben, Old Norse bein, Danish ben, German Bein). No cognates outside Germanic (the common PIE root is *os-; see osseous); the Norse, Dutch, and German cognates also mean "shank of the leg," and this is the main meaning in Modern German, but English never seems to have had this sense.
especially in bone up "study," 1880s student slang, probably from "Bohn's Classical Library," a popular series in higher education published by German-born English publisher Henry George Bohn (1796-1884) as part of a broad series of "libraries" he issued from 1846, totaling 766 volumes, continued after 1864 by G. Bell & Sons.
In addition to the idioms beginning with bone
- bone of contention
- bone to pick, have a
- bone up
- 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