Anatomy, Zoology. the bones of a human or an animal considered as a whole, together forming the framework of the body.
any of various structures forming a rigid framework in an invertebrate.
an emaciated person or animal.
a supporting framework, as of a leaf, building, or ship.
an outline, as of a literary work: the skeleton of the plot.
something reduced to its essential parts.
of or relating to a skeleton.
like or being a mere framework; reduced to the essential or minimal parts or numbers: a skeleton staff.
Idioms about skeleton
skeleton at the feast, a person or thing that casts gloom over a joyful occasion; a note or reminder of sorrow in the midst of joy.
skeleton in the closet / cupboard,
a family scandal that is concealed to avoid public disgrace.
any embarrassing, shameful, or damaging secret.
- skel·e·ton·less, adjective
- skel·e·ton·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use skeleton in a sentence
Once the system had these data, it could track that person’s skeleton.A robot referee can really keep its ‘eye’ on the ball | Kathryn Hulick | August 20, 2020 | Science News For Students
When his team examined the fossilized embryos, they noticed egg-shaped halos around the skeletons.
It’s all based on coral — small marine animals that build themselves stony skeletons, often on top of older corals.
That light — including its blue wavelengths — can enter and bounce around inside the corals’ skeleton.Going bright may help corals recover from bleaching | Carolyn Wilke | June 25, 2020 | Science News For Students
As they crawl over the reef, the starfish liquefy polyps with digestive enzymes, sponging up the nutrients and leaving behind a coral skeleton.Fish poop exposes what eats the destructive crown-of-thorns starfish | Jake Buehler | June 8, 2020 | Science News
That meant the talent that DJ Brinsely hired that night performed for a skeleton audience.
The identity of the skeleton remains the big question, and answers may not be forthcoming anytime soon.
Enriqueta Romero put a skeleton on the sidewalk, and helped give us Santa Muerte.America’s Fastest Growing Death Holiday Is From Mexico | Michael Schulson | November 1, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Day of the Dead parades follow a cross-cultural flow, embellishing Halloween stylizations of the dancing skeleton.
Posada used the skeleton as a way of talking about politics, commenting on life.
The sun was printing over the floor the shadow skeleton of the juniper-tree by the westerly window.The Soldier of the Valley | Nelson Lloyd
The mutilated skeleton of a girl was found, which had apparently been in that place for considerably over a hundred years.The Portsmouth Road and Its Tributaries | Charles G. Harper
A well preserved natural skeleton of this animal was brought home and deposited in the British Museum.
The veriest tyro in natural history would see that at the first glance of the massive skeleton.
The chestnuts are stripped bare already and lift their black skeleton arms in the air.Child Life In Town And Country | Anatole France
British Dictionary definitions for skeleton
informal a very thin emaciated person or animal
the essential framework of any structure, such as a building or leaf, that supports or determines the shape of the rest of the structure
an outline consisting of bare essentials: the skeleton of a novel
(modifier) US and Canadian reduced to a minimum: a skeleton staff
skeleton in the cupboard or US and Canadian skeleton in the closet a scandalous fact or event in the past that is kept secret
- skeletal, adjective
- skeletally, adverb
- skeleton-like, adjective
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
Scientific definitions for skeleton
The internal structure of vertebrate animals, composed of bone or cartilage, that supports the body, serves as a framework for the attachment of muscles, and protects the vital organs and associated structures.
A hard protective covering or supporting structure of invertebrate animals. See also endoskeleton exoskeleton.
- skeletal adjective
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.