Definition of Skeleton

1. Noun. Something reduced to its minimal form. "The bare skeleton of a novel"

Generic synonyms: Lower Limit, Minimum

2. Noun. A scandal that is kept secret. "There must be a skeleton somewhere in that family's closet"

3. Noun. The hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal.
Exact synonyms: Frame, Skeletal System, Systema Skeletale
Generic synonyms: System
Group relationships: Musculoskeletal System
Terms within: Skeletal Structure
Specialized synonyms: Endoskeleton, Exoskeleton
Derivative terms: Skeletal

4. Noun. The internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape. "The building has a steel skeleton"
Exact synonyms: Frame, Skeletal Frame, Underframe
Group relationships: Aircraft, Building, Edifice, Ship
Specialized synonyms: Chassis, Hoop
Generic synonyms: Supporting Structure

Definition of Skeleton

1. n. The bony and cartilaginous framework which supports the soft parts of a vertebrate animal.

2. a. Consisting of, or resembling, a skeleton; consisting merely of the framework or outlines; having only certain leading features of anything; as, a skeleton sermon; a skeleton crystal.

Definition of Skeleton

1. Noun. (anatomy) The system that provides support to an organism, internal and made up of bones and cartilage in vertebrates, external in some other animals. ¹

2. Noun. A frame that provides support to a building or other construction. ¹

3. Noun. (figuratively) A very thin person. ¹

4. Noun. (From the sled used, which originally was a bare frame, like a skeleton.) A type of tobogganing in which competitors lie face down, and descend head first (compare luge). See Wikipedia:Skeleton (sport) ¹

5. Noun. (geometry) The vertices and edges of a polyhedron, taken collectively. ¹

6. Noun. An anthropomorphic representation of a skeleton. See Wikipedia:Skeleton (undead) ¹

7. Noun. (figuratively) The central core of something that gives shape to the entire structure. ¹

8. Verb. (archaic) to reduce to a skeleton; to skin; to skeletonize ¹

9. Verb. (archaic) to minimize ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Skeleton

1. the supporting or protective framework of a human or animal body [n -S] : SKELETAL [adj]

Medical Definition of Skeleton

1. A solid or fluid system which allows muscles to relax after contracting (in general, because there is an opposing muscle which pulls the skeletal part in the opposite direction when it contracts). The skeletal system may also be a support structure or a form of protection. Types of skeletons include hydroskeletons and exoskeletons. (09 Oct 1997)

Skeleton Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Skeleton

skeletal structure
skeletal survey
skeletal system
skeletal traction
skeleton (current term)
skeleton appendiculare
skeleton axiale
skeleton crew
skeleton fork fern
skeleton hand
skeleton in the closet
skeleton in the cupboard
skeleton key
skeleton keys
skeleton of free inferior limb
skeleton of free superior limb
skeleton of heart
skeleton shrimp
skeleton staff

Literary usage of Skeleton

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature (1907)
"The silicious skeleton consists of a single fenestrated shell, ... The silicious skeleton consista of numerous hollow tubes which are united in a peculiar ..."

2. An Introduction to Entomology by John Henry Comstock (1920)
"In addition to the external skeleton, there are derived from the hypodermis an internal skeleton and several types of glands. 0, THE INTERNAL skeleton ..."

3. The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and General (1890)
"The first evidence of a skeleton in the embryo is the appearance of membranes in many parts of which cartilage is developed, and in course of time this ..."

4. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: Giving the Derivation, Source, Or Origin of by Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1898)
"Being there she opened a closet which contained a-human skeleton. " Madam," said the lady, " I try to keep my trouble to myself, but every night my husband ..."

5. The Development of the Chick: An Introduction to Embryology by Frank Rattray Lillie (1908)
"V. APPENDICULAR skeleton The appendicular skeleton includes the skeleton of the limbs and of the girdles that unite the limbs to the axial skeleton. ..."

6. The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General by Thomas Spencer Baynes (1888)
"Tho siliceous skeleton is either entirely absent or consists of hollow needles which are disposed outside tho central capsule, regularly or irregularly. ..."

7. Organic Evolution by Richard Swann Lull (1917)
"skeleton? cl man, Homo sapiens, and rearing horse, Equus caballus, to show correspondence of bones, also loss of bones, digits, etc., in the horse 302 V. ..."

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