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 pluralknew 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 The jawbone would have been from a young dinosaur chick, and the early developmental stage of the bone suggests it was born nearby. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Baby raptor discovered in Alaska may have been a permanent resident of the ancient Arctic," 8 July 2020 The hiring of more subcontractors — a bone of contention during previous negotiations — probably will infuriate the striking workers. Washington Post, "As more than 4,000 workers strike, Navy shipbuilder Bath Iron Works plans subcontractor hires," 2 July 2020 Addressing what was a bone of contention in 2018, the conglomerate expects still to be included in share indices in both London and Amsterdam. The Economist, "Business this week," 11 June 2020 But black lives are the broken bone in the body right now. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Protest sprouts in the suburbs of North Texas and beyond in wake of George Floyd’s killing," 8 June 2020 The cheap felt hat worn by Rocky Balboa was a bone of contention with the film's producers. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'40 Years of Rocky': Sylvester Stallone's best revelations in the new documentary," 8 June 2020 Investigators were unable to use dental records to identify Guillén because of the state of her remains and instead used DNA from bone and hair samples, Khawam said. Jake Bleiberg, Houston Chronicle, "Lawyer: Remains of missing Fort Hood soldier identified," 5 July 2020 Investigators were unable to use dental records to identify Guillén because of the state of her remains and instead used DNA from bone and hair samples, Khawam said. Washington Post, "Lawyer: Remains of missing Texas soldier identified," 5 July 2020 But despite their label, these tools can still overstep the inherent limitations of flesh and bone. Kelsey D. Atherton, Scientific American, "What “Less Lethal” Weapons Actually Do," 23 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Whether slicing a tomato or peach for a summertime main dish salad, mincing garlic, or boning fish, there is a perfect knife for the job. Patricia S York, Southern Living, "4 Knives Every Southern Kitchen Should Have," 20 May 2020 To ensure the essential supply of chicken for Canadians across the country, the poultry industry as a whole is shifting away from de-boning chicken legs to increase their production capacity. Shelly Hagan, Bloomberg.com, "Boneless Chicken Starts to Vanish in U.S. Meatpacking Shutdowns," 5 May 2020 Late at night in November 2011, Ted Flores was coming home from running errands in Highland, Ind., when a car T-boned his at an intersection. Washington Post, "‘It only took one pill’: How addiction starts," 23 Dec. 2019 Place wings bone side down on grill and grill covered 10 min. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Grilled Chicken Wings," 1 Apr. 2020 Halfway through the drive, Olomola was T-boned by another automobile. Nick Givas, Fox News, "Uber driver charged with kidnapping after passengers livestream chase," 14 Feb. 2020 No media outlet reports that a pickup that got T-boned was a dark color or that a motorcycle didn’t have its daytime running lights on at the time of a crash. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "High-Vis Clothing Only Matters if Drivers Pay Attention," 7 Apr. 2020 Victoria’s date is next, because the producers have to put the person who asked the Bachelor not to bone the two other women after those two other women. Lia Beck, refinery29.com, "The Bachelor Season 24, Episode 9 Recap: A Suite, Suite Fantasy Nightmare," 24 Feb. 2020 What the city found One afternoon in January 2003, former Dallas City Council member Sandy Greyson had just left a Regional Transportation Council meeting when a driver ran a red light and T-boned her. Ariana Giorgi, Dallas News, "Red-light traffic cameras reduced crashes, and now they’re gone. What’s next for Dallas?," 21 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bone

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bone

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bone. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bone

bone

noun
How to pronounce Bone (audio)

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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