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 Bone (audio) \ adjective
boneless \ ˈbōn-​ləs How to pronounce Bone (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 In knee surgery, the technology gives a surgeon the ability to see and follow operating plans projected onto the lens of smart glasses, allowing for more precise removal of bone and cartilage and more accurate positioning of a knee implant. John Mccormick, WSJ, "Augmented Reality Used in Knee-Replacement Surgery in a U.S. First," 22 Jan. 2021 The lizard has a structure made of bone and cartilage originating from the throat that supports the frill. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, "The Real Dilophosaurus Would Have Eaten the Jurassic Park Version for Breakfast," 1 Jan. 2021 Reich’s lab relied on a relatively new technique: extracting DNA from a dense piece of bone in the inner ear. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "What Ancient DNA Reveals About the First People to Populate the Caribbean," 29 Dec. 2020 The meat should separate from the end of the leg bone when cooked, and an instant-read thermometer will read at least 165 F when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast. Dallas News, "3 soothing chicken soup recipes: Tom Kha Gai, Thukpa and Sopa de Lima," 28 Dec. 2020 At the time of her PhD, there was little to no research that had been on the proteomics of bone in forensic science, and the subfield is still somewhat in its infancy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists ID potential biomarkers to peg time of death for submerged corpses," 26 Dec. 2020 Why would anyone visit the kingdom of butcher bone saw who killed journalist Khashoggi, jails/ tortures activists, sends death squads to kill critics & tortures his relatives into submission? Fox News, "Critics accuse CNN of publishing Saudi 'propaganda' piece hyping nation's tourism," 10 Dec. 2020 Death was everywhere, as was blood and all the shards of bone and skin and rendering, but the place felt very alive. Susan Casey, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: An Improbable Elk Hunt," 6 Dec. 2020 But the hip flared up during the game after a three-week layoff, and Landry changed his mind and had the procedure in February, which involved shaving down some cartilage and removing two pieces of bone embedded in the labrum of his left hip. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, "Jarvis Landry admits his hip rehab took an emotional and physical toll before the bye and he’s still recovering," 27 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s the champion of the all-around: agile enough to make delicate work of veggies and sturdy enough to bone a chicken. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "A Petty Knife Is Like a Paring Knife, Only More Useful," 10 Nov. 2020 But for the rest of the carcass, here in Louisiana, people like to bone it out and grind it. Will Coviello, NOLA.com, "Dan Robert of the Southern Food and Beverage museum's Meat Lab leads a class on wild game," 18 Sep. 2020 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

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

19 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bone. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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Comments on bone

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