raw·​boned ˈrȯ-ˌbōnd How to pronounce rawboned (audio)
: relatively thin with prominent bone structure
also : heavy-framed and rugged but not attractively built
Choose the Right Synonym for rawboned

lean, spare, lank, lanky, gaunt, rawboned, scrawny, skinny mean thin because of an absence of excess flesh.

lean stresses lack of fat and of curving contours.

a lean racehorse

spare suggests leanness from abstemious living or constant exercise.

the gymnast's spare figure

lank implies tallness as well as leanness.

the lank legs of the heron

lanky suggests awkwardness and loose-jointedness as well as thinness.

a lanky youth, all arms and legs

gaunt implies marked thinness or emaciation as from overwork or suffering.

a prisoner's gaunt face

rawboned suggests a large ungainly build without implying undernourishment.

a rawboned farmer

scrawny and skinny imply an extreme leanness that suggests deficient strength and vitality.

a scrawny chicken
skinny street urchins

Examples of rawboned in a Sentence

He was tall and rawboned.
Recent Examples on the Web Mitsouko softened Chypre’s rawboned extremes, imparting a creamy peach glow to the whole. Noy Thrupkaew, Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2021 Kirschling, a rawboned young man from Wisconsin, had written a master’s thesis at Columbia about long-term productivity decline in New York City’s mass transit. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 2 July 2018 Like so many in Lincoln Heights, this tiny, rawboned 89-year-old woman had lived through a time of gang violence, high crime and police oppression. Brittny Mejia, Joe Mozingo, www.latimes.com, 3 Apr. 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1600, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rawboned was in 1600

Dictionary Entries Near rawboned

Cite this Entry

“Rawboned.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rawboned. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


raw·​boned ˈrȯ-ˈbōnd How to pronounce rawboned (audio)
: extremely thin : gaunt

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