[kraws-bohnz, kros-]

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crossbones

Contemporary Examples of crossbones

Historical Examples of crossbones

  • 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)

British Dictionary definitions for crossbones


pl n

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