\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Definition of cone

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a solid generated by rotating a right triangle about one of its legs

called also right circular cone

b : a solid bounded by a circular or other closed plane base and the surface formed by line segments joining every point of the boundary of the base to a common vertex — see Volume Formulas Table
c : a surface traced by a moving straight line passing through a fixed vertex
2a : a mass of ovule-bearing or pollen-bearing scales or bracts in most conifers or in cycads that are arranged usually on a somewhat elongated axis
b : any of several flower or fruit clusters suggesting a cone
3 : something that resembles a cone in shape: such as
a : any of the conical photosensitive receptor cells of the vertebrate retina that function in color vision — compare rod sense 3
b : any of a family (Conidae) of tropical marine gastropod mollusks that inject their prey with a potent toxin
c : the apex of a volcano
d : a crisp usually cone-shaped wafer for holding ice cream


coned; coning

Definition of cone (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make cone-shaped
2 : to bevel like the slanting surface of a cone cone a tire

Illustration of cone

Illustration of cone


cone 2a: 1 Sitka spruce, 2 Japanese cedar, 3 giant sequoia, 4 white spruce, 5 redwood, 6 lodgepole pine, 7 Douglas fir, 8 bald cypress, 9 jack pine

In the meaning defined above

Examples of cone in a Sentence


He scooped out the popcorn with a paper cone.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Mia stayed busy, from snacking on an ice cream cone to kicking around a soccer ball. Stephanie Petit,, "Queen's Granddaughter Zara Tindall Gets a Good Luck Kiss from Husband Mike at Horse Riding Event," 16 Sep. 2019 The ice cream-pelting scene, where Reese Witherspoon throws an entire cone at Meryl's character, got cut, but will be available as an extra. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why That Epic 'Big Little Lies' Scene Was Cut, and Where You Can Watch It," 8 July 2019 This year, the Venice Club has added Italian bread cooked in a giant ice cream cone shape, loaded with meatballs and marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella. Nina Bertelsen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: Checking out 7 new things to experience (and eat) at the Big Gig," 27 June 2019 Some scooped the ingredients — oats, protein, apple — into a yellow cone that fed into plastic bags held by others., "9/11 brings out the best in Bay Area volunteers packing meals for needy," 11 Sep. 2019 At the time, the hurricane center’s forecast path — including a large cone of uncertainty — did not go farther west than the eastern third of Georgia. Seth Borenstein, Twin Cities, "NOAA assailed for defending Trump’s Hurricane Dorian claim," 7 Sep. 2019 She was followed by Jasmine, a pointer mix who had to be carried down the stairs; Ida, a Shar-Pei wearing a cone; and Goldie, a rotund hound mix. Marie Fazio,, "Chicago shelter takes in animals from South Carolina displaced by Hurricane Dorian," 5 Sep. 2019 With a cash layout like that, all Clough could afford was a simple ice cream cone for himself. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Westlake mayor loses football bet with Rocky River mayor; pays up with ice cream," 1 Sep. 2019 Authorities in North Carolina will not file criminal charges in the death of a 10-month-old boy who choked on a pine cone at day care and died. San Diego Union-Tribune, "No criminal charges in death of baby who choked on pine cone," 26 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For years, the bridge district had allowed the annual marathon to cone off two of the northbound lanes to accommodate the popular run. Matier & Ross,, "This month’s SF Marathon runs into obstacle at Golden Gate Bridge," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cone.' 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 cone


1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cone


Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin conus, from Greek kōnos

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Statistics for cone

Last Updated

17 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for cone

The first known use of cone was in 1545

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More Definitions for cone



English Language Learners Definition of cone

: a shape that has a pointed top and sides that form a circle at the bottom
: a hard and dry part that is the fruit of a pine tree or other evergreen plant and contains many seeds
: something that looks like a cone


\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Kids Definition of cone

1 : a thin crisp cookie shaped to hold ice cream
2 : a scaly structure of certain trees (as the pine or fir) that produces pollen or egg cells and seeds
3 : a shape with a circular base and sides that taper evenly to a point
4 : a cell of the retina of the eye that is sensitive to colored light


\ ˈkōn How to pronounce cone (audio) \

Medical Definition of cone

1 : a solid having a circular base and sides that slope evenly to a point
2a : any of the conical photosensitive receptor cells of the vertebrate retina that function in color vision — compare rod
b : any of a family (Conidae) of numerous somewhat conical tropical gastropod mollusks that include a few highly poisonous forms — see conus
3 : a cusp of a tooth especially in the upper jaw

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More from Merriam-Webster on cone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cone

Spanish Central: Translation of cone

Nglish: Translation of cone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cone for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cone

Comments on cone

What made you want to look up cone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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