\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Perry's ring features a large pink center stone surrounded by eight diamonds. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katy Perry's Engagement Ring from Orlando Bloom Has a Surprising Link to Princess Diana," 16 Feb. 2019 Traditionally a beloved stone of kings and queens, the sapphire symbolizes purity, dignity, and wisdom. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "What’s Your Sign? Karen Elson on Her New Birthstone Perfume Bottle Tops," 18 Jan. 2019 If approved by the Senate, Morhard would be joining the space agency at a time of transition, with the Trump administration putting a heightened focus on returning to the moon as a stepping stone to going to Mars. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "Top U.S. Senate aide nominated by Trump as NASA's second in command," 13 July 2018 One of my colleagues suddenly noticed a stone embedded in a steep outcrop. Time, "A Discovery in China Suggests That Human-Like Species Left Africa 250,000 Years Earlier Than Believed," 13 July 2018 The survivors buried the dead in three mass graves along the train tracks, and a stone bearing the star of David was laid atop each site one year later. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 The chief said glass windows at both shops on Wyoming Avenue were cracked, likely by a small stone or a BB gun, but there was no actual breakage and no entry into either business. Jennie Key,, "Wyoming window vandalism random and isolated," 9 July 2018 The Times properties — five interconnected structures a stone’s throw from City Hall surrounded by Broadway and 1st, 2nd and Spring streets — were acquired by Onni for $105 million in September 2016, according to CoStar. Roger Vincent,, "Preservationists call for historic status for Los Angeles Times buildings, threatening redevelopment plans," 4 July 2018 Aircraft built before the final design standards were set in stone would need hardware and software updates, and determining which planes needed what to bring them up to the final standard will be a complicated and expensive endeavor. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Some F-35s Could Become Unflyable by 2026," 1 Feb. 2019

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.

See More

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-

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stone

Dictionary Entries near stone






stone's throw

Stone Age

Statistics for stone

Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stone

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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
British : 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)

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on stone

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


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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!