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

Duke coach David Cutcliffe was growing up in Birmingham when Bear Bryant stunned USC with a wishbone offense in the 1971 opener. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, "How Alabama responded to Duke’s surprise triple option," 5 Sep. 2019 The double wishbone suspension at the front is entirely new—thanks to the tight packaging at the front, nothing off the shelf would have fit. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Everything you wanted to know about Porsche’s new electric car," 4 Sep. 2019 That game was played during the era of Jerry Pettibone’s wishbone/triple option attack. oregonlive, "Oregon State’s 2-hour, 44-minute game against Cal Poly is the program’s quickest since 1995," 16 Sep. 2019 The Sooners were known for hard-nosed, wishbone football before Bob Stoops took over in Norman and hired Mike Leach as his offensive coordinator. Los Angeles Times, "College football 2019: Will Jalen Hurts and Oklahoma produce a Heisman three-peat?," 12 Aug. 2019 The first two to arrive get to split the wishbone — the winner gets a wish, second place gets first pick of the desserts! Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "12 Thanksgiving Tradition Ideas for a Less Stressful, More Thankful Holiday," 7 Aug. 2019 Boney Tree A local artist collected chicken wishbones from famous people, including Shirley Temple, and wired them to a small tree to create art. Charles Infosino, Cincinnati.com, "Check out the weirdest things you can find at Behringer-Crawford Museum," 18 July 2019 The ride quality is reasonably comfortable for a truck, with a double wishbone front suspension, coil-over shocks, rear leaf springs and solid rear axle. San Diego Union-Tribune, "$74,000 Ford F-150? Dearborn’s best, but love is blind," 22 June 2019 All Panamera models use a lightweight double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2018 Porsche Panamera: Fast, Furious and, Yes, a Station Wagon," 19 Dec. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near wishbone



wish away


wishbone bush

wishbone flower


Statistics for wishbone

Last Updated

18 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for wishbone

The first known use of wishbone was in 1847

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More Definitions for wishbone



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on wishbone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wishbone

Spanish Central: Translation of wishbone

Nglish: Translation of wishbone for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wishbone

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