noun, plural stones for 1–5, 7–19, stone for 6.
- a calculous concretion in the body, as in the kidney, gallbladder, or urinary bladder.
- a disease arising from such a concretion.
verb (used with object), stoned, ston·ing.
Origin of stone
- a piece of rock designed or shaped for some particular purpose
- (in combination)gravestone; millstone
- something that resembles a stone
- (in combination)hailstone
- any of various dull grey colours
- (as adjective)stone paint
Word Origin for stone
Old English stan, used of common rocks, precious gems, concretions in the body, memorial stones, from Proto-Germanic *stainaz (cf. Old Norse steinn, Danish steen, Old High German and German stein, Gothic stains), from PIE *stai- "stone," also "to thicken, stiffen" (cf. Sanskrit styayate "curdles, becomes hard;" Avestan stay- "heap;" Greek stear "fat, tallow," stia, stion "pebble;" Old Church Slavonic stena "wall").
Slang sense of "testicle" is from mid-12c. The British measure of weight (usually equal to 14 pounds) is from late 14c., originally a specific stone. Stone's throw for "a short distance" is attested from 1580s. Stone Age is from 1864. To kill two birds with one stone is first attested 1650s.
intensifying adjective, 1935, first recorded in black slang, probably from earlier use in phrases like stone blind (late 14c., literally "blind as a stone"), stone deaf, etc., from stone (n.). Stone cold sober dates from 1937.
cast the first stone
Also, throw the first stone. Be quick to blame, criticize, or punish, as in She's always criticizing her colleagues, casting the first stone no matter what the circumstances. The term comes from the New Testament (John 8:7), where Jesus defends an adulteress against those who would stone her, saying “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Also see people who live in glass houses; pot calling the kettle black.
In addition to the idioms beginning with stone
- stone cold
- stone deaf
- cast in stone
- cast the first stone
- flat (stone) broke
- heart of stone
- leave no stone unturned
- rolling stone gathers no moss
- run into a stone wall