skull and crossbones


plural skulls 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 Lola fashioned a pair of baggy light blue jeans with a worn leather jacket and a shirt featuring a skull and crossbones. Julia Teti, WWD, 18 June 2024 And its best mariners will continue to fly the skull and crossbones. Michael Lyon Baker, Foreign Affairs, 4 Oct. 2010 The ultimate prop was the pirate flag, which could be decorated with a skull and crossbones (as in the classic Jolly Roger design), bleeding hearts, hourglasses, spears, cutlasses and skeletons. Sean Kingsley, Smithsonian Magazine, 15 May 2024 Another posted an emoji of a dripping syringe and a skull and crossbones. Kate S. Petersen, USA TODAY, 7 May 2024 Designed by David August, the suit is all-black velvet with an interior lining printed with skulls and crossbones. Hannah Chubb, Peoplemag, 12 Jan. 2024 The club was renamed Real Bedford F.C., with the crest changed to a skull and crossbones and the nickname to the Pirates. Joel Khalili, WIRED, 25 Aug. 2023 Silver and black, the body pattern resembles a pirate’s skull and crossbones. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 July 2023 In April, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry posted a photograph on its Twitter account of a soldier wearing a patch featuring a skull and crossbones known as the Totenkopf, or Death’s Head. Thomas Gibbons-Neff, New York Times, 5 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'skull and crossbones.' 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

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skull and crossbones was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near skull and crossbones

Cite this Entry

“Skull and crossbones.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

skull and crossbones

skull and cross·​bones -ˈkrȯs-ˌbōnz How to pronounce skull and crossbones (audio)
plural skulls and crossbones
: a representation of a human skull over crossbones used as a warning of danger to life
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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