\ 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 The pints are now available in eight flavors at UDF stores for $4.99 each and $3.99 for a two-dip cone. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 10 May 2022 In Amsterdam, all that stood between me and a paper cone of thick-cut fries topped with mayonnaise was a 10-minute stroll across canal bridges dressed with fresh flowers. Sarah Greaves-gabbadon, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2022 It was served in a portable paper cone called scartosso in Italian. Janelle Davis, CNN, 1 May 2022 Chad Jackson, a second-rounder in 2006, ran a 4.32 40 and clocked a 6.73 three-cone. Globe Staff,, 30 Apr. 2022 Back then Martin always wanted a cone of banana and strawberry shave ice plus a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom, which would melt into a fruity, creamy pool. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 29 Apr. 2022 This edition features a pearl-white lacquer barrel and a cone embellished with a traditional Victorian pattern. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Rainbow Cone started in Chicago’s South Side Beverly neighborhood and became famous for layering its signature five flavors of ice cream on a cone. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 25 Apr. 2022 In the brief, six-second snippet, the rising pop star sits on the end of a bench, licking a chocolate ice cream cone in an all-white suit when, out of the blue, a bright red grand piano drops out of the sky onto his head. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 19 Apr. 2022 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,, 1 July 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of cone


1562, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


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

Learn More About cone

Dictionary Entries Near cone



cone adaptation

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for 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

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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