Meaning of SKELETON in English


I. ˈskelət ə n noun

( -s )

Etymology: New Latin, from Greek, neuter of skeletos dried up, withered; akin to Old English sceald shallow, hell heort terrified, Middle Low German schal dull, clouded, insipid, Middle High German hel weak, Swedish skäll watery, Old Norse hall æri bad season, famine, Greek skellein to dry up, sklēros hard, harsh, stiff

1. : a supportive or protective structure or framework of an animal, a plant, or a part of an animal or plant: as

a. : the bones of a human being or other vertebrate ; broadly : the bony or more or less cartilaginous framework supporting the soft tissues and protecting the internal organs

b. : any of various analogous structures in an invertebrate (as the mesh of spicules of a sponge, the shell of a brachiopod or mollusk, or the chitinous or partially calcareous covering of an arthropod) — see endoskeleton , exoskeleton

c. : a rigid protective covering of a lower plant (as the frustule of a diatom)

d. : the vascular system of a vascular plant and especially of an herbaceous plant or leaf in which it is a framework readily separable (as by weathering or retting)

the lacy skeleton of a leaf

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

3. : an emaciated person or animal

4. : something forming a structural framework: as

a. : the basic structure of a creative work (as a play)

b. : a written plan for a literary work having headings for main divisions : outline

c. : a rigidly-connected frame of steel or reinforced concrete used in the construction of tall buildings that supports the external wall and distributes all loads and stresses to the foundation

d. : the framework of a molecular structure comprising a straight or branched chain or ring of atoms to which other atoms may be attached — compare nucleus 2j, ring system

the carbon skeleton of isoleucine

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

6. : a heavy steel-runnered sled capable of great speed and steered only by dragging the feet and shifting one's weight and used by Alpine tobogganers

7. : the disposition of the pawns in a chess position

- skeleton at the feast

[s]skeleton.jpg[/s] [

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


II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

: skeletonize

III. adjective

1. : of or having the character of a skeleton

a skeleton hand

specifically : having only the minimum form or essential parts

a skeleton plan

a skeleton wagon

2. : consisting of the smallest number of persons who can care for an establishment and do essential work

a skeleton crew

a skeleton staff

3. : of a structure having open interior parts

a skeleton spade

specifically : of or being a movement, dial, or timepiece with all but essential metal framework removed in order to allow the works to be observed

4. of clothing : partial

a skeleton lining

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.