\ ˈstōn How to pronounce stone (audio) \

Definition of stone

 (Entry 1 of 4)

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; stones

Definition of stone (Entry 2 of 4)

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 4)

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



Definition of stone (Entry 4 of 4)

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

Examples of stone in a Sentence

Noun The pedestal is made of stone. His birthdate and date of death were carved on the stone. Verb He was stoned to death for his crimes. Stone the peaches before serving. Adverb The soup was stone cold. Adjective the stone stupidity of the senator's statements embarrassed even her staffers See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some of the items included chips of stone that were knocked off when Native Americans were making arrowheads and spear points, as well as pottery. CBS News, 2 Aug. 2022 With an edge that cascades seamlessly to the floor, this expanse of stone can be a decadent focal point that links floor design with cabinetry. Rachel Silva, ELLE Decor, 28 July 2022 For instance, Egyptians were using mirrors around 2900 B.C., bronze mirrors were made in China circa 2000 B.C. and mirrors made of polished stone have been traced back to 6000 B.C. Ari Grobman, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Close to the Carrara quarries, which yielded the marble that Michelangelo turned into David, ships were constructed in the nineteenth century, to transport giant blocks of stone. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 Also, and this is key, make sure your base extends four to five inches beyond the outer edge of your stone or pavers to provide a stable outer edge. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 8 July 2022 Fashioned out of local marble, the copy is the prototype of a copy to be carved from a block of marble quarried on Mount Pentelicus, the main source of the stone for the construction of the Acropolis. New York Times, 8 July 2022 America sits on a precipice, teetering on a foundation that once seemed made of solid stone, but now appears to be mud. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 July 2022 Within decades the building started to crumble, in part due to too soft of stone, Sutton said. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 6 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Paiute Indians who long ago called this area home believed that these thin spires of rock were once an entire race called the Legend People, who were turned to stone for bad deeds by Coyote. Emily Pennington, Outside Online, 26 May 2020 There’s no extradiegetic sound at all — just the forest’s chirping melodies and the rustling and chopping and hammering of insects, birds, wind in leaves, stone on wood. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 Much of the technology was developed for use by the U.S. military in Iraq as part of a project dubbed Gorgon Stare after the mythical Greek monster that could turn men to stone with a glance. Todd Richmond, ajc, 3 Nov. 2021 Played by the underwhelming Gemma Chan, Sirse is a Sino-English anthropologist who can turn things to stone or to dust. Kyle Smith, National Review, 31 Oct. 2021 And the superb Baryshnikov somehow turns his body to stone, ending the colloquy. Joan Acocella, The New York Review of Books, 14 May 2020 Gorgon Medusa can Turn you to stone just by Looking your way. Washington Post, 12 Aug. 2021 And the symmetry was beautifully designed: the former handmaids (and maybe Marthas) arranged in a perfect circle around him, just as they’d been trained to do when told to stone and kill one of their own kind. Hillary Kelly, Vulture, 16 June 2021 The Medusa of Greek mythology turned opponents to stone with a glance. David Hambling, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Lovely wet-stone minerality melds with delicate white blossoms as the wine opens, with Asian citrus—along the lines of yuzu or Buddha’s hand—joining up with white nectarine aromas. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 14 Mar. 2022 Over 30 pieces are available for sale by Hopi jeweler Charles Loloma, with prices expected to rise up to $60,000 for a multi-stone and gold cuff (top), the peaks and ridges of which call to mind the landscapes of his native Arizona. Kate Matthams, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 Hints of jasmine float over notes of apple, green melon, and lime, with a lovely wet-stone quality underneath. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 5 July 2021 Like the name indicates, a multi-stone ring has multiple stones that compete for attention, which can be a good thing. Jennifer Prince, Southern Living, 8 June 2021 White blossom aromas are touched by a salty sea breeze mixed with grapefruit and wet-stone minerality. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 17 May 2021 Hints of honeysuckle float above lemon, fresh herbs and wet-stone minerality on the nose, with beautiful ripe stone fruit, grapefruit and guava following on the palate. Sara L. Schneider, Robb Report, 26 Apr. 2021 Instead, a curved, gently sloped, stone path landscaped with shrubs, leads from the driveway to the front door. Sally A. Downey,, 5 Feb. 2018 Stone tools, animal bones and evidence of fire were also found within the same layer at the site. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 7 June 2017 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Stone.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for stone


\ ˈstōn How to pronounce stone (audio) \

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 How to pronounce stone (audio) \

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)

Stone biographical name (1)

\ ˈstōn How to pronounce Stone (audio) \

Definition of Stone

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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


biographical name (2)

Definition of Stone (Entry 2 of 3)

Irving 1903–1989 originally surname Tennenbaum American writer


biographical name (3)

Definition of Stone (Entry 3 of 3)

Lucy 1818–1893 American suffragist

More from Merriam-Webster on stone

Nglish: Translation of stone for Spanish Speakers

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


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