wish·​bone ˈwish-ˌbōn How to pronounce wishbone (audio)
: a forked bone in front of the breastbone in a bird consisting chiefly of the two clavicles fused at their median or lower end
: 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 Instead of an independent double wishbone front suspension design—using two arms to connect each wheel to the chassis—the R2 uses a strut. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, 12 Mar. 2024 The Dodgers: For making my year and (again) choking before chewing on the wishbone. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2023 The Social Network actress’ new piece of jewelry appears to be a wishbone ring encrusted with diamonds across the band. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 12 Dec. 2023 Whose wish comes true when breaking a turkey wishbone? Rebecca Norris, Country Living, 29 Aug. 2023 The play was called with the ball at Oregon State’s 28 as the coaches noted Stanford was over-pursuing in trying to stop the Beavers’ wishbone. Ndaschel, oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2023 Guys don’t go from running the wishbone to running to the run and shoot. Ainslie Lee | Alee@al.com, al, 18 Sep. 2023 Back then, the wishbone was from chickens and wasn’t broken. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, 29 Aug. 2023 Ahead, uncover everything there is to know about the turkey wishbone tradition. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, 29 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wishbone.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wishbone was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near wishbone

Cite this Entry

“Wishbone.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wishbone. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


wish·​bone ˈwish-ˌbōn How to pronounce wishbone (audio)
: a bone in front of a bird's breastbone that is shaped like a V and consists chiefly of two fused clavicles

More from Merriam-Webster on wishbone

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!