skeleton


1skel·e·ton

noun \ˈske-lə-tən\

: the structure of bones that supports the body of a person or animal

: a set or model of all the bones in the body of a person

: a very thin person or animal

Full Definition of SKELETON

1
:  a usually rigid supportive or protective structure or framework of an organism; especially :  the bony or more or less cartilaginous framework supporting the soft tissues and protecting the internal organs of a vertebrate
2
:  something reduced to its minimum form or essential parts
3
:  an emaciated person or animal
4
a :  something forming a structural framework
b :  the straight or branched chain or ring of atoms that forms the basic structure of an organic molecule
5
:  something shameful and kept secret (as in a family) —often used in the phrase skeleton in the closet
6
:  a small sled that is ridden in a prone position and used especially in competition; also :  the competition itself
ske·le·ton·ic \ˌske-lə-ˈtä-nik\ adjective

Examples of SKELETON

  1. They found the fossil skeleton of a mastodon.
  2. He hung a plastic skeleton on the door for Halloween.
  3. She was a skeleton after her illness.
  4. Only the charred skeleton of the house remained after the fire.
  5. We saw a skeleton of the report before it was published.

Illustration of SKELETON

Origin of SKELETON

New Latin, from Greek, neuter of skeletos dried up; akin to Greek skellein to dry up, sklēros hard and perhaps to Old English sceald shallow
First Known Use: 1578

2skeleton

adjective

: having the smallest possible number of people who can get a job done

Full Definition of SKELETON

:  of, consisting of, or resembling a skeleton

First Known Use of SKELETON

1778

skel·e·ton

noun \ˈskel-ət-ən\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SKELETON

1
: a usually rigid supportive or protective structure or framework of an organism; especially : the bony or more or less cartilaginous framework supporting the soft tissues and protecting the internal organs of a vertebrate
2
: the straight or branched chain or ring of atoms that forms the basic structure of an organic molecule

Illustration of SKELETON

skeleton

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Major bones of the human skeleton.—© Merriam-Webster Inc.

Bony framework of the body. It includes the skull, vertebral column, collarbone, shoulder blades, rib cage, pelvic girdle and the bones of the hands, arms, feet, and legs. The skeleton supports the body and protects its internal organs. It is held together by ligaments and moved at the joints by the muscles, which are attached to it. The skeletal system includes both bones and cartilage.

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