skull and crossbones

plural skulls and crossbones

Definition of skull and crossbones

: a representation of a human skull over crossbones usually used as a warning of danger to life

Examples of skull and crossbones in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There were some drums, noise makers and five flags: one each from the U.S. and Mexico, one with a 1904 logo, one with a skull and crossbones, and one of Che Guevara. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Pro soccer team 1904 FC wins its home debut at SDCCU Stadium," 14 Sep. 2019 The original PirateBox consisted of a wireless router, a network adapter, and a thumb drive all packed into a lunchbox emblazoned with a skull and crossbones. Wired, "This DIY Implant Lets You Stream Movies From Inside Your Leg," 30 Aug. 2019 And perhaps companies will think twice before offering another service that would be labeled with the equivalent of a skull and crossbones. Stephen Nowicki, WIRED, "Big Tech Needs to Use Hazardous Materials Warnings," 10 Aug. 2019 After Barber died, he was dug up and reburied with his head and limbs placed on top of his ribcage in a skull and crossbones pattern. Fox News, "Remains of 19th-century ‘vampire' found," 5 Aug. 2019 As this 1725 map of New Orleans shows, that block -- then at the very back of town, surrounded by undeveloped lots -- was a cemetery, as evidenced by the skulls and crossbones that can be seen in the enlarged section of the map. Mike Scott,, "‘Voodoo City,’ Episode 11: New Orleans’ street of forgotten souls," 26 June 2019 But the fourth, a skull and crossbones pirate flag in 2014, was replaced Saturday by a rainbow flag representing the LGBTQ community. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Paul McCartney transcends and defines time at marathon Petco Park concert," 23 June 2019 Here are some select snippets of his 45-minute session with reporters, and here is a link to a partial transcript of his comments from Monday: Q. What's the meaning of your hat (a camouflage baseball cap with a skull and crossbones)? Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Matt Patricia Super Bowl transcript: On flying, the military, more," 1 Feb. 2018 One created a chair with a skull and crossbones in the shape of shovels. The Economist, "Dibs and cribsLife, liberty and the pursuit of parking," 22 Feb. 2018

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

1826, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about skull and crossbones

Dictionary Entries near skull and crossbones




skull and crossbones


skullcap speedwell

skull coral

Statistics for skull and crossbones

Last Updated

27 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for skull and crossbones

The first known use of skull and crossbones was in 1826

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for skull and crossbones

skull and crossbones


English Language Learners Definition of skull and crossbones

: a picture of a human skull above two crossed bones that was used on the flags of pirate ships in the past and is now used as a warning label on containers of poisonous or dangerous substances

Comments on skull and crossbones

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


a bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!