\ ˈstōn \

Definition of stone

 (Entry 1 of 7)

1 : a concretion of earthy or mineral matter:
a(1) : such a concretion of indeterminate size or shape
(2) : rock
b : a piece of rock for a specified function: such as
(1) : a building block
(2) : a paving block
(3) : a precious stone : gem
(4) : gravestone
(5) : grindstone
(6) : whetstone
(7) : a surface upon which a drawing, text, or design to be lithographed is drawn or transferred
2 : something resembling a small stone: such as
b : the hard central portion of a drupaceous fruit (such as a peach)
c : a hard stony seed (as of a date)
3 plural usually stone : any of various units of weight especially : an official British unit equal to 14 pounds (6.3 kilograms)
b : a round playing piece used in various games (such as backgammon or go)
5 : a stand or table with a smooth flat top on which to impose or set type
in stone
: in or into a permanent and unchangeable state plans are not set in stone


stoned; stoning

Definition of stone (Entry 2 of 7)

transitive verb

1 : to hurl stones at especially : to kill by pelting with stones
2 archaic : to make hard or insensitive to feeling
3 : to face, pave, or fortify with stones
4 : to remove the stones or seeds of (a fruit)
5a : to rub, scour, or polish with a stone
b : to sharpen with a whetstone



Definition of stone (Entry 3 of 7)

: entirely, utterly used as an intensive often used in combination stone-brokestone-cold soupstone-dead



Definition of stone (Entry 4 of 7)

1 : of, relating to, or made of stone
2 : absolute, utter pure stone craziness— Edwin Shrake


biographical name (1)
\ ˈstōn \

Definition of Stone (Entry 5 of 7)

Harlan Fiske 1872–1946 American jurist; chief justice U.S. Supreme Court (1941–46)


biographical name (2)

Definition of Stone (Entry 6 of 7)

Irving 1903–1989 originally surname Tennenbaum American writer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Stone (Entry 7 of 7)

Lucy 1818–1893 American suffragist

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Other Words from stone


stoner noun

Examples of stone in a Sentence


The pedestal is made of stone. His birthdate and date of death were carved on the stone.


He was stoned to death for his crimes. Stone the peaches before serving.


The soup was stone cold.


the stone stupidity of the senator's statements embarrassed even her staffers
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Meanwhile, Brianna, essentially orphaned in the 1970s, discovers a clue in historical documents that points to Jamie and Claire’s deaths, and decides to makes the dangerous journey through the stones to warn them. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Caitriona Balfe Is Evolving with Outlander," 31 Dec. 2018 The same stone used for the radiant-heated floors inside runs outside to the patio. Nancy Keates, WSJ, "A Perfectionist Architect’s Experimental Home," 27 Dec. 2018 But after centuries of looting, the stones of the Pumapunku are so scattered that not one lies in its original place. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists reconstruct pre-Columbian temple with 3D-printed blocks," 17 Dec. 2018 The stones inside act as the seeds for the Olea europaea tree. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "It Turns Out Olives Are Actually Fruits and Not Vegetables," 11 Dec. 2018 For example, the stone used for the living room walls comes from a quarry a couple of miles away. Celia Barbour, House Beautiful, "Designer Cathy Chapman Uses Lighting In The Coolest Way For This Cozy Vermont Retreat," 3 Dec. 2018 Advocates claim the smooth brown stone is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with diarrhea or ulcers and, of paramount interest, curb your appetite and aid with weight loss. Mari A. Schaefer,, "Should you eat the avocado pit?," 25 June 2018 Some of them snapped selfies with stone-faced police who stood like sentinels, clad in heavy riot gear. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "Riots Resurface Across France, Piling Pressure on Macron," 9 Dec. 2018 As the siege continued, villagers tried to march toward mosque in solidarity with the rebels, leading to clashes between stone-throwing protesters and government forces who deployed tear smoke shells and pellets. Fox News, "Clashes erupt around Kashmir after Indian troops kill man," 27 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The female rats began getting stoned during the week of their mating period, and then for the 21 days of gestation. Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times, "‘Something wasn’t clicking’: WSU study shows offspring of pregnant rats exposed to THC have impaired development," 20 Nov. 2018 The van took Offred not to her death or her salvation, but to a trick, a brainchild of Aunt Lydia's (who is becoming more of a cartoon villain scene by scene) to punish the handmaids for refusing to stone Janine to death. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2 premiere recap: Escape the pain," 25 Apr. 2018 When a kid gets in trouble, why does no one say at any point, ‘Why are you getting stoned? Marcus Harrison Green, The Seattle Times, "Constantine unveils proposed $4 million budget for his Roadmap to Zero Youth Detention," 19 Sep. 2018 But Musk says he wasn't stoned at the time of the tweet. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Elon Musk says he is having the most “painful year of my career”," 17 Aug. 2018 Yoda-like, or vaguely stoned, the brand has in the past year established itself as the philosopher-poet of frozen meat sheets. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "What happens when processed meat slices stop being polite ... and start getting real.," 28 Sep. 2018 Winovich stones his man at the point of attack, collapsing the pocket by himself, before Gary runs all the way down the tackle box to make a sack. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's defense is championship caliber," 7 July 2018 And yes, they may quite possibly be stoned, swiping from their couch surrounded by snacks. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 This isn't just an infinity stones smash-and-grab kind of movie. Jeneé Osterheldt, kansascity, "New 'Avengers' is so sad you'll cry infinite tears. In the dark. In fetal position | The Kansas City Star," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Instead, a curved, gently sloped, stone path landscaped with shrubs, leads from the driveway to the front door. Sally A. Downey,, "In Lower Gwynedd, a renovated bungalow to grow old in," 5 Feb. 2018 Stone tools, animal bones and evidence of fire were also found within the same layer at the site. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Oldest Homo sapiens fossils discovered," 7 June 2017

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for stone


Middle English, from Old English stān; akin to Old High German stein stone, Old Church Slavonic stěna wall, and perhaps to Sanskrit styāyate it hardens — more at steato-

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Learn More about stone

Dictionary Entries near stone






stone's throw

Stone Age

Statistics for stone

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stone

The first known use of stone was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for stone



English Language Learners Definition of stone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a hard substance that comes from the ground and is used for building, carving, etc.

: a small piece of rock

: a piece of rock used for a particular purpose



English Language Learners Definition of stone (Entry 2 of 3)

: to throw stones at (someone or something)

: to kill (someone) by throwing stones

: to remove the hard, large seed of (a fruit)



English Language Learners Definition of stone (Entry 3 of 3)

: totally or completely


\ ˈstōn \

Kids Definition of stone

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : earth or mineral matter hardened in a mass : rock
2 : a piece of rock coarser than gravel Don't throw stones.
4 : a stony mass that sometimes forms in certain organs of the body a kidney stone
5 : the seed of a fruit (as a peach) in its hard case
6 plural usually stone : an English measure of weight equaling 14 pounds (about 6.3 kilograms)


stoned; stoning

Kids Definition of stone (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : to throw stones at
2 : to remove the stony seeds of stone cherries



Kids Definition of stone (Entry 3 of 4)

: relating to or made of stone a stone wall



Kids Definition of stone (Entry 4 of 4)

: completely, totally The soup was stone- cold.


\ ˈstōn \

Medical Definition of stone

2 plural usually stone : any of various units of weight especially : an official British unit equal to 14 pounds (6.3 kilograms)

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More from Merriam-Webster on stone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stone

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stone

Spanish Central: Translation of stone

Nglish: Translation of stone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stone for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stone

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