What does skeleton mean?

Definitions for skeleton
ˈskɛl ɪ tnskele·ton

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word skeleton.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. skeletonnoun

    something reduced to its minimal form

    "the battalion was a mere skeleton of its former self"; "the bare skeleton of a novel"

  2. skeleton, skeleton in the closet, skeleton in the cupboardnoun

    a scandal that is kept secret

    "there must be a skeleton somewhere in that family's closet"

  3. skeletal system, skeleton, frame, systema skeletalenoun

    the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal

  4. skeleton, skeletal frame, frame, underframenoun

    the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape

    "the building has a steel skeleton"


  1. skeletonnoun

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

  2. skeletonnoun

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

  3. skeletonnoun

    A very thin person.

    She lost so much weight while she was ill that she became a skeleton.

  4. skeletonnoun

    (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)

  5. skeletonnoun

    The vertices and edges of a polyhedron, taken collectively.

  6. skeletonnoun

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

    She dressed up as a skeleton for Halloween.

  7. skeletonnoun

    The central core of something that gives shape to the entire structure.

    The skeleton of the organisation is essentially the same as it was ten years ago, but many new faces have come and gone.

  8. skeletonverb

    to reduce to a skeleton; to skin; to skeletonize

  9. skeletonverb

    to minimize

  10. Etymology: From σκελετός, from σκελλώ.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Skeletonnoun

    Etymology: σϰελετὸς, Greek.

    When rattling bones together fly,
    From the four corners of the sky;
    When sinews o’er the skeletons are spread,
    Those cloth’d with flesh, and life inspires the dead. Dryden.

    A skeleton, in outward figure,
    His meagre corps, though full of vigour,
    Would halt behind him were it bigger. Jonathan Swift.

    The great structure itself, and its great integrals, the heavenly and elementary bodies, are framed in such a position and situation, the great skeleton of the world. Matthew Hale.

    The schemes of any of the arts or sciences may be analyzed in a sort of skeleton, and represented upon tables, with the various dependencies of their several parts. Isaac Watts.


  1. Skeleton

    A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of most animals. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body, and the hydroskeleton, a flexible internal skeleton supported by fluid pressure. Vertebrates are animals with a vertebral column, and their skeletons are typically composed of bone and cartilage. Invertebrates are animals that lack a vertebral column. The skeletons of invertebrates vary, including hard exoskeleton shells, plated endoskeletons, or spicules. Cartilage is a rigid connective tissue that is found in the skeletal systems of vertebrates and invertebrates.


  1. skeleton

    A skeleton is a structural framework of a living organism that supports and gives shape to its body. It can either be internal, as seen in vertebrates like humans and dogs, or external, as in the case of insects and crustaceans. This framework is typically composed of hard, rigid materials like bone or cartilage in vertebrates, and chitin in insects. Besides support and shape, it also plays a crucial role in movement by providing attachment points for muscles. In higher vertebrates, the skeleton also protects the delicate internal organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Skeletonnoun

    the bony and cartilaginous framework which supports the soft parts of a vertebrate animal

  2. Skeletonnoun

    the more or less firm or hardened framework of an invertebrate animal

  3. Skeletonnoun

    a very thin or lean person

  4. Skeletonnoun

    the framework of anything; the principal parts that support the rest, but without the appendages

  5. Skeletonnoun

    the heads and outline of a literary production, especially of a sermon

  6. Skeletonadjective

    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

  7. Etymology: [NL., fr. Gr. (sc. ) a dried body, a mummy, fr. dried up, parched, to dry, dry up, parch.]


  1. Skeleton

    The skeleton is the body part that forms the supporting structure of an organism. There are two different skeletal types: the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, and the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body. In a figurative sense, skeleton can refer to technology that supports a structure such as a building.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Skeleton

    skel′e-tun, n. the bones of an animal separated from the flesh and preserved in their natural position: the framework or outline of anything: a very lean and emaciated person: a very thin form of light-faced type.—adj. pertaining to a skeleton—also Skel′etal.—ns. Skeletog′eny (-toj′-); Skeletog′raphy; Skeletol′ogy.—v.t. Skel′etonise, to reduce to a skeleton.—n. Skel′eton-key, a key for picking locks, without the inner bits.—Skeleton in the cupboard, closet, house, &c., some hidden domestic source of sorrow or shame. [Gr. skeleton (sōma), a dried (body)—skeletos, dried—skellein, to dry, to parch.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. skeleton

    A word applied to regiments that have become reduced in their number of men.


  1. Skeleton

    the hard chitinous parts which externally (exoskeleton) or internally (endoskeleton) form a protective covering, or serve as points of attachment, to muscles and other soft organs.

How to pronounce skeleton?

How to say skeleton in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of skeleton in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of skeleton in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of skeleton in a Sentence

  1. James Rolfe:

    The first Nintendo tape cartridge I tried was Ghosts N Goblins. As soon as the game began, I was immediately ambushed by zombies. I'd jump around aimlessly, tossing javelins, but was I'm a skeleton. Dead. It was over so quick, I couldn't even mentally process what just happened.

  2. Amal Elderat:

    My dad was like a walking skeleton, it was like he was gone.

  3. John Wraith:

    It's extraordinary, 'Shock' probably isn't too strong a word. People will come in this morning earlier than usual, so it's a skeleton staff right now. But shock was the first reaction. Now it's all hands on deck trying to deal with the volatility.

  4. Mark Norell:

    This is the first time this skeleton has been mounted for public display.

  5. Helen Wass:

    Given the number of human remains at St. James, we weren't confident that we were going to find him, we were very lucky that Captain Flinders had a breastplate made of lead meaning it would not have corroded. We'll now be able to study his skeleton to see whether life at sea left its mark and what more we can learn about him.

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Translations for skeleton

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"skeleton." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/skeleton>.

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