wish·​bone | \ ˈwish-ˌbōn How to pronounce wishbone (audio) \

Definition of wishbone

1 : a forked bone in front of the breastbone in a bird consisting chiefly of the two clavicles fused at their median or lower end
2 : a variation of the T formation in which the halfbacks line up farther from the line of scrimmage than the fullback does

Illustration of wishbone

Illustration of wishbone

W wishbone 1

Examples of wishbone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Barron later emerged victorious in a wishbone game with his father, who demanded that the result of that contest be overturned. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "Melania Banishes Trump to Children’s Table," 26 Nov. 2020 The wishbone sculpture by Mark Handforth on the University of Louisville campus hides in plain sight. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "2020 is the worst. So we asked Louisvillians what they're wishing for this Thanksgiving," 24 Nov. 2020 Families can digitally spend every minute of the holiday together, from the defrosting of the turkey to the splitting of the wishbone. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, "Zoom pauses 40-minute limit, gifts unlimited free calls for Thanksgiving Day," 16 Nov. 2020 Split across two aisles with a connecting space at their entrance, the bathrooms’ wishbone-shaped layout was originally intended to allow half the space to remain open while the other half was being cleaned. Elissaveta M. Brandon, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic Could End Waiting in Line," 28 Oct. 2020 Thanks to the discovery of his furcula, or wishbone, scientists have learned more about dinosaurs' relationship to birds. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, "One of the biggest and most complete T. rex dinos ever will visit The Children's Museum," 13 Oct. 2020 In an odd, back-to-the-future moment, the platform’s key bragging points include a double-wishbone front suspension. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2021 Acura TLX rides new platform to become brand’s best sedan in decades (review)," 3 Oct. 2020 In an odd, back-to-the-future moment, the platform’s key bragging points include a double-wishbone front suspension. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "2021 Acura TLX rides new platform to become brand’s best sedan in decades," 24 Sep. 2020 The rear of 215 W. Milwaukee St. is the home of David Mark Zimmerman's contribution, which features a whimsical assemblage of a dog, fish bones, a thigh bone, a wishbone and a trombone. Frank Schultz, Star Tribune, "Mural project meant to give downtown Janesville a fresh look," 14 Sep. 2020

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

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wishbone

from the superstition that when two persons pull it apart the one getting the longer fragment will have a wish granted

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Time Traveler for wishbone

Time Traveler

The first known use of wishbone was in 1847

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Statistics for wishbone

Last Updated

2 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wishbone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wishbone. Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for wishbone


How to pronounce wishbone (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wishbone

: a bone that is at the front of a bird's chest and that is shaped like a V


wish·​bone | \ ˈwish-ˌbōn How to pronounce wishbone (audio) \

Kids Definition of wishbone

: a bone in front of a bird's breastbone that is shaped like a V

More from Merriam-Webster on wishbone

Nglish: Translation of wishbone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wishbone

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