wishbone

[wish-bohn]
|

noun

a forked bone, formed by the fusion of the two clavicles, in front of the breastbone in most birds; furcula.
Football. an offensive formation in which the fullback is positioned directly behind the quarterback and the two halfbacks are positioned farther behind and to the left and right, respectively.

Nearby words

  1. wish fulfillment,
  2. wish fulfilment,
  3. wish list,
  4. wish on,
  5. wish-wash,
  6. wishbone boom,
  7. wishful,
  8. wishful thinking,
  9. wishfully,
  10. wishing well

Origin of wishbone

1850–55, Americanism; wish + bone; so called from the custom of pulling the furcula of a cooked fowl apart until it breaks, the person holding the longer (sometimes shorter) piece being granted a wish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for wishbone


British Dictionary definitions for wishbone

wishbone

noun

the V-shaped bone above the breastbone in most birds consisting of the fused clavicles; furcula

Word Origin for wishbone

C17: from the custom of two people breaking apart the bone after eating: the person with the longer part makes a wish

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

Word Origin and History for wishbone

wishbone

n.

1860, from wish + bone (n.); so called from the custom of making a wish while pulling the bone in two with another person. The wishbone breaking custom dates to the early 17c., when the bone was a merrythought.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for wishbone

wishbone

[wĭshbōn′]

The forked bone in front of the breastbone in most birds, consisting of the two collarbones partly fused together. It serves as a spring, capturing some of the energy during the downward stroke of the wings for release on the upward stroke.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.