\ ˈstō-nē How to pronounce stony (audio) \
variants: or less commonly stoney
stonier; stoniest

Definition of stony

1 : abounding in or having the nature of stone : rocky
2a : insensitive to pity or human feeling : obdurate
b : manifesting no movement or reaction : dumb, expressionless
c : fearfully gripping : petrifying
3 archaic : consisting of or made of stones
4 British : stone broke

Other Words from stony

stonily \ ˈstō-​nə-​lē How to pronounce stony (audio) \ adverb
stoniness \ ˈstō-​nē-​nəs How to pronounce stony (audio) \ noun

Examples of stony in a Sentence

She gave him a stony stare. the judge's stony demeanor didn't raise the defendant's hopes for a more lenient sentence
Recent Examples on the Web Such trees, gnarly and stout, can live for hundreds of years on the harsh, stony landscape of the higher elevations. Robert O'harrow Jr., Washington Post, 3 June 2022 Gagosian’s concerns were echoed by several curators known to write widely on Basquiat’s work, who have greeted the Orlando museum’s show with a stony public silence. New York Times, 16 Feb. 2022 Martha returns to work just three weeks later with no explanation, just cool, stony defiance. Justin Chang Film Critic, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2021 Additionally, Itokawa was a bright, stony object, with a very different history and scientific potential from dark, carbonaceous asteroids such as Bennu. Dante S. Lauretta, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2016 Located roughly 10 miles north of the town of Strawberry in Coconino National Forest, the stony peninsula juts out over the eastern edge of Fossil Springs Wilderness. Mare Czinar, azcentral, 29 May 2020 The senators watched, with stony faces, as Mr. Schiff spoke. Lindsay Wise, WSJ, 16 Jan. 2020 Outbreaks of stony coral tissue loss disease, first noticed off Miami in 2014, have spread as far as Cozumel, the Caribbean region, and have baffled marine biologists., 11 Dec. 2019 Outbreaks of stony coral tissue loss disease, first noticed off Miami in 2014, have spread as far as Cozumel, the Caribbean region, and have baffled marine biologists. USA TODAY, 11 Dec. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of stony

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

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

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stony broke

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Cite this Entry

“Stony.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for stony


\ ˈstō-nē How to pronounce stony (audio) \
stonier; stoniest

Kids Definition of stony

1 : full of stones stony soil
2 : hard as or like stone stony meteorites
3 : insensitive sense 1, unfeeling a stony stare

More from Merriam-Webster on stony

Nglish: Translation of stony for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stony for Arabic Speakers

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