skull and crossbones


noun

a representation of a front view of a human skull above two crossed bones, originally used on pirates' flags and now used as a warning sign, as in designating substances as poisons.

Origin of skull and crossbones

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for skull and crossbones

  • I was determined—I think we were all determined—not to be bullied by these islanders and their skull-and-crossbones ditty.

    Phroso|Anthony Hope
  • When Shagarach stepped from the car on his way to meet Mr. Skull-and-Crossbones he found that he was early.

    The Incendiary|W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • By the way, my correspondent, Mr. Skull-and-Crossbones, has honored me again.

    The Incendiary|W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy

British Dictionary definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones


noun

a picture of the human skull above two crossed thighbones, formerly on the pirate flag, now used as a warning of danger or death
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

Medicine definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones


n. pl. skulls and crossbones

A representation of a human skull above two long crossed bones, a symbol of death used as a warning label on poisons.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Culture definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones


A picture or outline of a human skull and two crossed arm or leg bones. Pirate ships are supposed to have used the skull and crossbones on their flags. (See also Jolly Roger.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.