\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Definition of cone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a solid generated by rotating a right triangle about one of its legs

called also right circular cone

b : a solid bounded by a circular or other closed plane base and the surface formed by line segments joining every point of the boundary of the base to a common vertex — see Volume Formulas Table
c : a surface traced by a moving straight line passing through a fixed vertex
2a : a mass of ovule-bearing or pollen-bearing scales or bracts in most conifers or in cycads that are arranged usually on a somewhat elongated axis
b : any of several flower or fruit clusters suggesting a cone
3 : something that resembles a cone in shape: such as
a : any of the conical photosensitive receptor cells of the vertebrate retina that function in color vision — compare rod sense 3
b : any of a family (Conidae) of tropical marine gastropod mollusks that inject their prey with a potent toxin
c : the apex of a volcano
d : a crisp usually cone-shaped wafer for holding ice cream


coned; coning

Definition of cone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make cone-shaped
2 : to bevel like the slanting surface of a cone cone a tire

Illustration of cone

Illustration of cone


cone 2a: 1 Sitka spruce, 2 Japanese cedar, 3 giant sequoia, 4 white spruce, 5 redwood, 6 lodgepole pine, 7 Douglas fir, 8 bald cypress, 9 jack pine

In the meaning defined above

Examples of cone in a Sentence

Noun He scooped out the popcorn with a paper cone.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Your ice cream will be soft serve at this point, and is best served, in my professional opinion, in a cake cone, dripping with waxy rainbow sprinkles. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "Summer is Coming, and You Need This Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker STAT," 21 Apr. 2020 That’s when Porky Bickar set a stack of old tires on fire in the cone of the dormant volcano Mt. Edgecumbe near Sitka, Alaska. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Spring Bear Hunting Season Was Canceled in Alaska. Then Hunters Spoke Up," 14 Apr. 2020 Enjoy your cup or cone at a sidewalk table or get a pint or ice cream sandwich to go. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "7 new OMG-good extreme ice cream shops in the Bay Area," 1 July 2019 At Erikson’s Ice Cream in Maynard, generations of customers have stopped by during the warmer months for a cup, cone, or sundae featuring their favorite flavors and toppings. Rachel Lebeaux,, "Sizzling, salty, and chill: Where to eat out this summer," 21 June 2019 Every Tuesday, customers can enjoy one scoop of Hoffman’s Chocolate’s ice cream for only $2 per cup or cone. Jennifer Boehm,, "Our guide to summer: Savings and fun events for kids," 18 June 2019 The dough is sold by the scoop in a cup or cone, or as part of a cookie shake or sundae with additional toppings., "What’s new in Avondale?," 13 June 2019 In a process that originated in Thailand, the cream here is poured onto a pan, frozen flat and then scraped and rolled rather than scooped into a cup or waffle cone. Josie Sexton, The Know, "10 frozen treats to try around Denver this summer," 3 June 2019 Other species showed more pointed, cone-like teeth. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This extinct marine predator started out as a small tadpole-seal hybrid with weird teeth," 8 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For years, the bridge district had allowed the annual marathon to cone off two of the northbound lanes to accommodate the popular run. Matier & Ross,, "This month’s SF Marathon runs into obstacle at Golden Gate Bridge," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cone


1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cone


Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin conus, from Greek kōnos

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Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for cone


How to pronounce cone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cone

: a shape that has a pointed top and sides that form a circle at the bottom
: a hard and dry part that is the fruit of a pine tree or other evergreen plant and contains many seeds
: something that looks like a cone


\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Kids Definition of cone

1 : a thin crisp cookie shaped to hold ice cream
2 : a scaly structure of certain trees (as the pine or fir) that produces pollen or egg cells and seeds
3 : a shape with a circular base and sides that taper evenly to a point
4 : a cell of the retina of the eye that is sensitive to colored light


\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Medical Definition of cone

1 : a solid having a circular base and sides that slope evenly to a point
2a : any of the conical photosensitive receptor cells of the vertebrate retina that function in color vision — compare rod
b : any of a family (Conidae) of numerous somewhat conical tropical gastropod mollusks that include a few highly poisonous forms — see conus
3 : a cusp of a tooth especially in the upper jaw

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More from Merriam-Webster on cone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cone

Spanish Central: Translation of cone

Nglish: Translation of cone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cone for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cone

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