skel·​e·​tal | \ ˈske-lə-tᵊl How to pronounce skeletal (audio) \

Definition of skeletal

: of, relating to, forming, attached to, or resembling a skeleton

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Other Words from skeletal

skeletally \ ˈske-​lə-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce skeletally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of skeletal in a Sentence

The archaeologist found skeletal remains. She was skeletal after her illness.

Recent Examples on the Web

Spiegel began to research the skeletal differences between cisgender men and women, finding marked differences in their bone shapes and densities. Serena Daniari, Allure, "The Complicated Process of Undergoing Facial-Feminization Surgery, and Why I Did It," 23 Mar. 2019 His only contribution to the report was a short email offering a skeletal defense. Sam Walker, WSJ, "The Truth About Failing Spectacularly," 16 Feb. 2019 The veld looked like the giant desiccated hide of some ancient creature, skinned and scarred and skeletal. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 Grooves similar to joints in a skeletal system, or pectinate muscles in the heart, allow it to shape-shift. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "You Can't Unsee This Robot Snake Scaling a Ladder," 10 Oct. 2018 The capital of the fastest growing state in the U.S. can use some as its traffic grows but ridership on its skeletal bus system doesn't. Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "Hey Boise: Salt Lake City has commuter rail, buses people use, and lessons for you," 10 June 2018 The skeletal remains were found by a construction crew in an area where homes are being built in Anna, about 45 miles north of Dallas. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Human remains found in Texas identified as those of woman who disappeared in 2014," 2 Oct. 2018 The knife, the most skeletal of all the pieces, has negative space in the center, leaving just the handle and blade. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "‘Skeleton’ cutlery is designed to use as little material as possible," 11 Sep. 2018 In a few other shots, Harry wears an apron and stands behind an easel, poses with two abstract paintings, and goofs off with a skeletal school pal. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Photos of Prince Harry's High School Dorm Room Resurface," 29 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'skeletal.' 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 skeletal

1854, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for skeletal

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skeletal

The first known use of skeletal was in 1854

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More Definitions for skeletal



English Language Learners Definition of skeletal

technical : of or relating to a skeleton
: very thin


skel·​e·​tal | \ ˈske-lə-tᵊl How to pronounce skeletal (audio) \

Kids Definition of skeletal

: of or relating to a skeleton skeletal muscles


skel·​e·​tal | \ ˈskel-ət-ᵊl, British sometimes ske-ˈlēt-ᵊl\

Medical Definition of skeletal

: of, relating to, forming, attached to, or resembling a skeleton skeletal structures the skeletal system

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More from Merriam-Webster on skeletal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for skeletal

Spanish Central: Translation of skeletal

Nglish: Translation of skeletal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of skeletal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on skeletal

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


a strong desire or propensity

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