bone

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbōn How to pronounce bone (audio) \

Definition of bone

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : one of the hard parts of the skeleton of a vertebrate
b : any of various hard animal substances or structures (such as baleen or ivory) akin to or resembling bone
c : the hard largely calcareous connective tissue of which the adult skeleton of most vertebrates is chiefly composed
2a : essence, core cut costs to the bone a liberal to the bone
b : the most deeply ingrained part : heart usually used in plural knew in his bones that it was wrong

3 bones plural

a(1) : skeleton
(2) : body rested my weary bones
(3) : corpse inter a person's bones
b : the basic design or framework (as of a play or novel)
4 : matter, subject a bone of contention
5a bones plural : thin bars of bone, ivory, or wood held in pairs between the fingers and used to produce musical rhythms
b : a strip of material (such as whalebone or steel) used to stiffen a garment (such as a corset)
c bones plural : dice
6 : something that is designed to placate : sop
7 : a light beige
8 : inclination sense 4a hadn't a political bone in his body— John Hersey
9 slang : dollar
bone to pick
: a matter to argue or complain about

bone

verb
boned; boning

Definition of bone (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to remove the bones from bone a fish
2 : to provide (a garment) with stays
3 : to rub (something, such as a boot or a baseball bat) with something hard (such as a piece of bone) in order to smooth the surface
4 US, vulgar slang : to have sexual intercourse with (someone)

intransitive verb

: to study hard : grind bone through medical school

bone

adverb

Definition of bone (Entry 3 of 4)

: extremely, very bone tired also : totally

Bone

biographical name
\ ˈbōn How to pronounce Bone (audio) \

Definition of Bone (Entry 4 of 4)

Sir Muirhead 1876–1953 Scottish etcher and painter

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Other Words from bone

Noun

boned \ ˈbōnd How to pronounce boned (audio) \ adjective
boneless \ ˈbōn-​ləs How to pronounce boneless (audio) \ adjective

Examples of bone in a Sentence

Noun

He broke a bone in his left arm. The leg bone is connected to the knee bone. We are all made of flesh and bone. The handle of the knife is made from bone.

Adverb

The air is bone dry. grew up in a backwoods area that was bone poor
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sever the connections at one end of the bone and then the other, and cut away any remaining bits of cartilage or joints. Bonnie S. Benwick, Washington Post, "Need a golden brown chicken schnitzel that’s crispy without being greasy? This is it.," 13 Aug. 2019 At such moments, a person becomes a bag of bones and blood that does not know which way to turn next, and nothing more. Josephine Livingstone, Vox, "The best $60 I ever spent: a palm reading that helped me find my way," 13 Aug. 2019 There, a team of experts unearthed a trove of artifacts—among them stone tools, clay fragments, burnt animal bones and a glass bead—indicating that people had lived there as early as 47,000 years ago. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Uncover Evidence of an Ancient High-Altitude Human Dwelling," 10 Aug. 2019 Danger feels bred in the bone and people keep to themselves, worshiping behind closed doors because outsiders don’t understand. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: ‘Them That Follow’ is a compelling tale of taboo love in a Pentecostal world," 8 Aug. 2019 Danger feels bred in the bone and people keep to themselves, worshiping behind closed doors because outsiders don’t understand. Kenneth Turan, Twin Cities, "Pentecostal faith, illicit romance are behind closed doors in ‘Them That Follow’," 8 Aug. 2019 Cleidocranial dysplasia is a condition that mostly affects the development of bones and teeth. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Does "Stranger Things"'s Gaten Matarazzo Have Cleidocranial Dysplasia?," 8 Aug. 2019 This year at least 31,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of their body, such as bones and lymph nodes. Robert Gatenby, Scientific American, "Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use," 3 Aug. 2019 Insects also scavenge bodies, leaving only the bones and some hide. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Mysterious nest inside Antioch house could mean big trouble," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

From President Fitzgerald Grant III and Olivia Pope boning all over the West Wing (before their postcoital conversations about jam and Vermont) to some hot spy-on-spy action, here are a few of the best hookup scenes from Scandal. Lisa Ryan, The Cut, "The Best (and Hottest) Hookup Scenes From Scandal," 19 Apr. 2018 Without missing a beat, Chris Quinones, Giselle Velez and Angeline Torres quickly learned the technique for boning chicken and kept us right on schedule for our Chicken Tikka Masala. Nancy Smith & Peter Landry, Philly.com, "Spices take the flavor of Chicken Tikka Masala 'to another world'," 19 Apr. 2018 And those who hunt in areas where the disease is known to occur should bone out their meat and not consume the brain, spine or lymph nodes, experts said. Jim Robbins, New York Times, "States Confront the Spread of a Deadly Disease in Deer," 8 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bone.' 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 bone

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adverb

circa 1825, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bone

Noun

Middle English bon, going back to Old English bān, going back to Germanic *baina- (whence also Old Frisian & Old Saxon bēn "bone," Old High German bein "bone, leg," Old Norse bein "bone" and probably beinn "straight"), perhaps going back to Indo-European *bhoi̯H-n-o-, a derivative of a verbal base *bhei̯H- "strike, hew," whence, with varying suffixation, Old Irish benaid "(s/he) hews, cuts," robíth "(it) has been struck," Middle Breton benaff "(I) cut," Latin perfinēs (glossed by the Roman grammarian Festus as perfringās "you should break") and probably Old Church Slavic bijǫ, biti "to hit"

Note: Germanic lacks an outcome of Indo-European *h2ost- "bone" (see osteo-), and it has been theorized that the etymon was replaced by *bhoi̯H-n-o-, used attributively in the sense "broken off," first with Germanic *ast-a- "branch" and then, with homonymous *ast- "bone" (the expected outcome of *h2ost-); the meaning "straight" seen in Old Norse beinn may have been an intermediary stage.

Verb

derivative of bone entry 1

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Learn More about bone

Dictionary Entries near bone

bond timber

bonduc

bondwoman

bone

Bone

bone-ace

Bone Age

Statistics for bone

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bone

The first known use of bone was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for bone

bone

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: any one of the hard pieces that form the frame (called a skeleton) inside a person's or animal's body
: the hard material that bones are made of

bone

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bone (Entry 2 of 3)

: to remove the bones from (a fish or meat)

bone

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of bone (Entry 3 of 3)

: extremely or very : completely or totally

bone

noun
\ ˈbōn How to pronounce bone (audio) \

Kids Definition of bone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of the hard pieces that form the skeleton of most animals the bones of the arm
2 : the hard material of which the skeleton of most animals is formed a piece of bone

Other Words from bone

boneless \ -​ləs \ adjective

bone

verb
boned; boning

Kids Definition of bone (Entry 2 of 2)

: to remove the bones from bone a fish

bone

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbōn How to pronounce bone (audio) \

Medical Definition of bone

1 : one of the hard parts of the skeleton of a vertebrate a shoulder bone the bones of the arm
2 : any of various hard animal substances or structures (as baleen or ivory) akin to or resembling bone
3 : the hard largely calcareous connective tissue of which the adult skeleton of most vertebrates is chiefly composed cancellous bone compact bone — compare cartilage sense 1

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More from Merriam-Webster on bone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bone

Spanish Central: Translation of bone

Nglish: Translation of bone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bone for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bone

Comments on bone

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