Meaning of SKELETON in English


I. ˈske-lə-tən noun

Etymology: New Latin, from Greek, neuter of skeletos dried up; akin to Greek skellein to dry up, sklēros hard and perhaps to Old English sceald shallow

Date: 1578

1. : a usually rigid supportive or protective structure or framework of an organism ; especially : the bony or more or less cartilaginous framework supporting the soft tissues and protecting the internal organs of a vertebrate

2. : something reduced to its minimum form or essential parts

3. : an emaciated person or animal


a. : something forming a structural framework

b. : the straight or branched chain or ring of atoms that forms the basic structure of an organic molecule

5. : something shameful and kept secret (as in a family) — often used in the phrase skeleton in the closet

• ske·le·ton·ic ˌske-lə-ˈtä-nik adjective


skeleton 1: 1 skull, 2 clavicle, 3 scapula, 4 sternum, 5 humerus, 6 pelvis, 7 carpus, 8 metacarpal bones, 9 phalanges (fingers), 10 tibia, 11 tarsus, 12 metatarsal bones, 13 phalanges (toes), 14 fibula, 15 patella, 16 femur, 17 ulna, 18 radius, 19 spinal column, 20 rib, 21 orbit


II. adjective

Date: 1778

: of, consisting of, or resembling a skeleton

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.