skull and crossbones

See 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.

Origin of skull and crossbones

1
First recorded in 1820–30

Words Nearby skull and crossbones

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use skull and crossbones in a sentence

  • 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
  • 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

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

Cultural 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.