skel·e·tal | \ˈske-lə-tᵊl \

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 \ adverb

Examples of skeletal in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

For the past 10 years, Dripps had struggled with spinal deterioration and had a dual diagnosis of diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis and ankylosing spondylitis. Janelle Walker, Elgin Courier-News, "Family of man who shot 3 officers in South Elgin standoff says he was distraught with health, financial woes," 10 July 2018 Abandon as in recklessness, but also sudden departure: leaving behind the starving self, its cold skeletal shell. Daphne Merkin, The New Republic, "How Leslie Jamison rejected the link between creativity and alcoholism," 5 July 2018 Among the latest additions to the visitor center is an 8-foot-high skeletal reconstruction of a 2,000-pound Harlan's Ground Sloth. Nancy Daly,, "Fish moved from lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site," 4 July 2018 With new tools like DNA sequencing and skeletal analysis, forensic specialists could identify remains and match them to living relatives. Matías Costa, Smithsonian, "The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War," 28 June 2018 In skeletal form, dinosaurs can be a source of laughs or an aid to romance. Pam Grady,, "Cinematic dinosaurs roared long before the first ‘Jurassic’ movie," 14 June 2018 The severity of the curve is followed by repeating X-rays occasionally until skeletal maturity is reached. Dr. Carolyn Kienstra And Dr. Alicia Morrisson, miamiherald, "Scoliosis a common condition that could require medical care," 12 June 2018 Without that function, the accumulation of carbohydrates in the cells leads to severe skeletal deformities, short stature and joint problems that can limit mobility and life span. Sophie Haigney, San Francisco Chronicle, "She wasn’t expected to live past 7. Saturday she graduates from college with honors," 8 June 2018 Four skeletal horsemen of the Apocalypse ride out of a piece of wood at the San Diego County Fair's Design in Wood exhibit, their black capes and the horses' manes looking tossed by the wind. Barbara Henry,, "Fair's Design in Wood exhibit a feast for the eyes," 7 June 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

3 Oct 2018

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

: of or relating to a skeleton

: very thin


skel·e·tal | \ˈske-lə-tᵊl \

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).


one that holds something together

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