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skull and crossbones

See more synonyms for skull and crossbones on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. 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.
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Origin of skull and crossbones

First recorded in 1820–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for skull and crossbones

jack

Examples from the Web for skull and crossbones

Historical Examples of skull and crossbones

  • By the way, my correspondent, Mr. Skull-and-Crossbones, has honored me again.

    The Incendiary

    W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy

  • 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

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones

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

skull and crossbones in Medicine

skull and crossbones

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

skull and crossbones in Culture

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.)

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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.