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 Uber driver suffered broken bones in his right arm, records say. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, "Man gets nearly two decades in prison in drunken-driving crash that left Beachwood math teacher, nonprofit worker dead," 30 Oct. 2019 The man, who researchers identified as Skeleton 125, was found among 60 skeletons and 4,272 bone fragments on the site of the Aberdeen Art Gallery in Aberdeen, Scotland amid construction of a new development on the site. Joshua Bote, USA TODAY, "Medieval man's face reconstructed from 600-year-old skull," 23 Oct. 2019 And at sizzling hot temperatures, even small volcanic projectiles can be dangerous, setting fires, breaking bones, and melting human flesh. Maya Wei-haas, National Geographic, "Volcano Safety Tips," 20 Oct. 2019 The freestanding emergency center treats serious emergencies such as heart attacks, broken bones and asthma attacks. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Methodist Healthcare opens freestanding ER in Westover Hills," 4 Oct. 2019 In 2009, Begun reached out to Ward, an expert on ape pelvis anatomy, for help in analyzing the bone fragment. NBC News, "Ancient ape fossil yields surprising new insights about human evolution," 30 Sep. 2019 However, charred bone fragments found at one garbage dump have been fully matched to only one student, while another student was a partial or probable match. Washington Post, "Mexico finds rumors, bodies, but not 43 missing students," 27 Sep. 2019 However, charred bone fragments found at one garbage dump have been fully matched to only one student, while another student was a partial or probable match. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mexico finds rumors, bodies, but not 43 missing students," 26 Sep. 2019 Optional equipment was a pair of work gloves and small plastic vials to hold any bone fragments, teeth or small findings. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Want to Dig For Dinosaur Bones? Join the Pros at These Spots," 25 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On New Year's Eve, the four were driving around looking at Christmas lights when a woman ran a stop sign and T-boned their Volkswagen Beetle, according to newspaper accounts. The Oregonian/oregonlive Politics Team, oregonlive, "So who is Lars Larson, the conservative who named the suspected Trump whistleblower on Fox News?," 8 Nov. 2019 Hunt was briefly hospitalized on Oct. 16 after her black SUV was t-boned while attempting to drive through an intersection. Jodi Guglielmi, PEOPLE.com, "Helen Hunt Is 'Back at Work' on Mad About You 1 Week After Car Accident," 25 Oct. 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 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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Statistics for bone

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

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
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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