exo·skel·e·ton | \ˌek-sō-ˈske-lə-tən \

Definition of exoskeleton 

1 : an external supportive covering of an animal (such as an arthropod)

2 : bony or horny parts of a vertebrate produced from epidermal tissues

3 : an artificial external supporting structure

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from exoskeleton

exoskeletal \ˌek-sō-ˈske-lə-tᵊl \ adjective

Examples of exoskeleton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this week, a team of scientists revealed the first unpowered wearable exoskeleton that decreases the energy required to walk. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "We've Been Making Exoskeleton Super-Legs All Wrong," 4 Apr. 2015 This technical advantage will impact a wide array of emerging systems now being built into exoskeletons. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Army prototypes new self-powering 'Iron Man' soldier suits," 6 June 2018 After the water receded, the remnant exoskeletons turned into land that is packed with calcium. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "The prehistoric shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico is so fertile you can see it from space," 12 July 2018 Broken, inverted umbrellas littered the sidewalks, their silver structures exposed and collapsed — exoskeletons, all of them. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 The technologies currently being developed include body suit-type exoskeletons, strength and power-increasing systems and additional protection. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Army prototypes new self-powering 'Iron Man' soldier suits," 6 June 2018 Apparently, the roaches preferred to run full speed knowing their exoskeleton could take the hit. Douglas Quenqua, New York Times, "How Cockroaches Crash Into Walls and Keep Going," 13 Feb. 2018 Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing the oils and fats from the cuticle of the insect's exoskeleton. OregonLive.com, "How to clear soil choked with old roots: Ask an expert," 6 June 2018 There, they are separated by size, and the mature ones are then steamed, their oil extracted, and their bodies (including exoskeleton) turned into a powder resembling beach sand. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "How Insects Might Help Solve the Looming Global Food Crisis," 25 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exoskeleton.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of exoskeleton

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about exoskeleton

Share exoskeleton

Dictionary Entries near exoskeleton








Statistics for exoskeleton

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exoskeleton

The first known use of exoskeleton was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for exoskeleton


exo·skel·e·ton | \ˌek-sō-ˈskel-ət-ᵊn \

Medical Definition of exoskeleton 

1 : an external supportive covering of an animal (as the system of sclerites covering the body of an insect) — compare endoskeleton

2 : bony or horny parts (as nails, hooves, or scales) of a vertebrate produced from epidermal tissues

Other Words from exoskeleton

exoskeletal \-ət-ᵊl \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on exoskeleton

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about exoskeleton

Comments on exoskeleton

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


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!