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 Pets of the Week: Meet senior cat Sally and 8 other adorable animals at BARC that deserve homes Thomas was just skin and bones when he was first brought in for treatment. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Before and after: Houston dog rescued on the brink of death gets a new life," 3 Jan. 2020 Doctors replaced that missing bone with a thick plastic called PEEK. Peggy O’hare, ExpressNews.com, "Iconic Village fire survivor resuming college studies, planning for future," 2 Jan. 2020 Like tree rings, bones also preserve annual changes. National Geographic, "These sleek predatory dinosaurs really are teenage T. rex," 1 Jan. 2020 This involved taking samples from bones found by archaeologists and mounted skins and organs stored in museums around the world. The Conversation/jessica Emma Thomas, Ars Technica, "DNA points to humans as killers of the northern version of the penguin," 27 Dec. 2019 The humble comb jelly has no brain, stomach or bones. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Can tech save the kakapo, New Zealand's 'gorgeous, hilarious' parrot?," 26 Dec. 2019 The Buddhist version of this story has a more bone-chilling episode. Anand Neelakanthan, Quartz India, "Who exactly was Chanakya, the ancient genius that wily Indian politicians are being compared with?," 20 Dec. 2019 The Zambezi Valley in October is a brittle, arid oven, a tough yet extraordinary environment: Regiments of baobabs stand at attention in the shimmering heat; piles of bone-white hyena feces lie on the black basalt plains. Peter Browne, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Slow Safari Along Zimbabwe’s Back Roads," 20 Dec. 2019 The finding is the first ever complete genome from ancient times that wasn’t obtained from human bones. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "This 5,700-Year-Old Chewing Gum Contains a Complete Human Genome," 19 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That meant giving them a brief lesson on moose anatomy before handing out gloves and four-inch de-boning knives to start cutting under the supervision of Mason and a couple parent volunteers. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "A Chugiak High teacher hunted a moose and brought it to school. Then things got interesting.," 15 Dec. 2019 Waiting a few seconds is better than being T-boned. Gary Richards, The Mercury News, "Fear of red-light runners has some drivers waiting before moving: Roadshow," 21 July 2019 Moose are heavy, thus some hunters bone their meat in the field to lighten the loads. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Take home all of your moose, even the innards," 23 Sep. 2019 For the outing, Jenner wore a floral chiffon frock by Duygu Ay Collection, cinched at the waist with a sheeny, boned corset. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Works a Corset for a Birthday Boat Ride in the South of France," 15 Aug. 2019 Uchis wrapped up her Australian tour yesterday by posing in a garden wearing a semi-sheer, boned corset and a golden belt wrapped around her waist that spelled out her last name in large letters. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Will Personal Branding Replace the Logo Trend? Kali Uchis Says Yes," 14 Jan. 2019 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

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

8 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bone.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bones. Accessed 18 January 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

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