\ 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

Noun He scooped out the popcorn with a paper cone.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That shuttle time would have been second among prospects at all positions at the 2020 NFL Combine and the cone drill fourth. Eric Hansen, The Indianapolis Star, "Tommy Tremble fills in the blanks, boosts draft status at Notre Dame Pro Day," 1 Apr. 2021 While Varitek played on several boisterous Red Sox teams, with loud cross-talk among teammates, a cone of respectful silence surrounded his work., "What exactly does Jason Varitek do as the Red Sox ‘game planning coordinator’?," 18 Mar. 2021 The officer took the top cone for possible fingerprints. John Benson, cleveland, "Sneaky thief behind crime spree involving stolen trailers: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 10 Mar. 2021 Below me, surrounding the cone, was an enormous inky expanse aptly named the Fantastic Lava Beds. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, "Teetering on the Edge of Volcanoes," 3 Mar. 2021 Another significant shift in Tropical Storm Eta's track, this time toward the east, brought southeast Louisiana out of the cone of uncertainty as well as tropical storm warnings issued for Florida's west coast, forecasters said Tuesday afternoon. Katelyn Umholtz,, "Tropical Storm Eta: Southeast Louisiana no longer in cone of uncertainty; see forecast," 10 Nov. 2020 Everyone is dressed in red, pink, and black, and Bimini slays in her Gaultier-does-Madonna cone bra and panties with a tuck that would make even Trinity Taylor blush. Brian Moylan, Vulture, "RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. Season Finale Recap: That’s All She Sing Sang Song," 18 Mar. 2021 The second is a resolution to lobby the U.S. Congress to protect the cone-bearing evergreens through reclassifying a swath within an existing National Heritage Area in northeastern Nevada’s Spring Valley. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Scrapped Vegas pipeline plan looms amid swamp cedar debate," 17 Mar. 2021 Scientists have been enthralled by cone snails’ devious antics for decades. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, "Cone Snails Are Liars and Murderers," 12 Mar. 2021 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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Last Updated

8 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of cone for Spanish Speakers

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

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