cut·​tle·​bone ˈkə-tᵊl-ˌbōn How to pronounce cuttlebone (audio)
: the shell of a cuttlefish that is sometimes used for polishing powder or for supplying cage birds with lime and salts

Examples of cuttlebone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The soft-bodied creatures, which rely on an internal bone called a cuttlebone to control their buoyancy, include more than 100 different species. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Aug. 2021 Some sources say squirrels also appreciate and will use a cuttlebone (usually sold for pet birds and gnawing rodent pets) secured to a tree or a stake. oregonlive, 17 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cuttlebone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English cotul cuttlefish (from Old English cudele) + English bone

First Known Use

1547, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cuttlebone was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near cuttlebone

Cite this Entry

“Cuttlebone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cut·​tle·​bone ˈkət-ᵊl-ˌbōn How to pronounce cuttlebone (audio)
: the shell of a cuttlefish used for making polishing powder or for supplying birds in cages with calcium and salts

More from Merriam-Webster on cuttlebone

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