bone

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

Definition of bone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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 3)

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 3)

: extremely, very bone tired also : totally

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The new rule adds a 30-mph side impact test, also known as a T-bone crash, to the list. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 23 June 2022 The duration of the studies was in months -- quite short, as two years is often needed to see benefits in the bone, which changes slowly. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 21 June 2022 Along with the restaurant's 32-ounce bone-in beef ribeye steak, Mechura introduced a bison tenderloin and a 3.5-inch, 64-ounce porterhouse, big enough to feed four adults. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 20 June 2022 Veal marsala takes the Italian standard a step further with a rustic, long-bone chop with character from the grill. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 15 June 2022 This easy variation highlights the aromatic flavor of soy sauce, garlic and ginger, a combination that seeps into bone-in, skin-on fish. New York Times, 13 June 2022 CIty Barbeque also serves pulled pork and chicken, ribs, turkey, sausage and bone-in chicken; appetizers, sides, salads, desserts and vegetarian options. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 13 June 2022 Famous examples include the bone-to-satellite match cut in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kris Holt, Forbes, 12 June 2022 That said, the fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs at Seakers Food Court is worth the walk – even a swim – over from the boat. Mark Gauert, Sun Sentinel, 10 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As to roasting, Don likes to bone out the chicken or spatchcock it by removing the backbone, before seasoning and rubbing with olive oil and roasting in the oven at 300 degrees for up to three hours. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Oct. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 23 Dec. 2019 Place wings bone side down on grill and grill covered 10 min. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, 1 Apr. 2020 Halfway through the drive, Olomola was T-boned by another automobile. Nick Givas, Fox News, 14 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

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

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

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bone

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Last Updated

1 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bone. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for bone

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

Bone biographical name

\ ˈbōn How to pronounce Bone (audio) \

Definition of Bone

Sir Muirhead 1876–1953 Scottish etcher and painter

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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