\ 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 During the restoration, archaeologists found that the original structure was not cone-shaped, as previously thought, but rather a cylindrical building similar to Hadrian’s mausoleum (better known as the Castel Sant’Angelo). Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Take a Virtual Tour of the World’s Largest Circular Tomb, Augustus’ Mausoleum," 31 Dec. 2020 The whimsical photos depict Nicki dolled up in a blue and white striped two-piece outfit standing next to a giant ice cream cone. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Yes, Queen! Nicki Minaj Answers Her Fans' Questions About Giving Birth," 31 Dec. 2020 Nope, a passive speaker is just a box with a speaker cone or two. Parker Hall, Wired, "How to Build a Vintage Audio System That Will Last Forever," 15 Oct. 2020 Some people who had only ordered an ice cream cone for themselves ended up paying more than $50 to cover a carload of children behind them, said Jensen. Washington Post, "A chain of 900 strangers bought one another’s meals at a Dairy Queen drive-through," 4 Dec. 2020 Alabama is no longer in the cone, and most of the state will feel no effects from the storm. Leigh Morgan, al, "Tropical Storm Eta: What should Alabama expect?," 11 Nov. 2020 Louisiana has had a cumulative of THREE WEEKS in the cone this year! Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Tropical Storm Zeta expected to strengthen into hurricane and make landfall on Gulf Coast," 26 Oct. 2020 The coastline from the western tip of the Florida panhandle to central Louisiana are in the forecast cone of uncertainty. Robin Webb,, "Hurricane Zeta forms along a track toward storm-weary U.S. Gulf coast," 26 Oct. 2020 Conical burrs are cone-shaped, which helps control grind size, heat transfer (which can burn the beans) and noise levels. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "The best coffee grinders of 2020," 4 Sep. 2020 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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cone


How to pronounce cone (audio)

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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