Meaning of SKELETON in English


— skeletonless , adj. — skeletonlike , adj.

/skel"i tn/ , n.

1. Anat. , Zool. the bones of a human or an animal considered as a whole, together forming the framework of the body.

2. any of various structures forming a rigid framework in an invertebrate.

3. an emaciated person or animal.

4. a supporting framework, as of a leaf, building, or ship.

5. an outline, as of a literary work: the skeleton of the plot.

6. something reduced to its essential parts.

7. skeleton at the feast , a person or thing that casts gloom over a joyful occasion; a note or reminder of sorrow in the midst of joy.

8. skeleton in the closet or cupboard ,

a. a family scandal that is concealed to avoid public disgrace.

b. any embarrassing, shameful, or damaging secret.


9. of or pertaining to a skeleton.

10. like or being a mere framework; reduced to the essential or minimal parts or numbers: a skeleton staff.

[ 1570-80; skeletós dried up, verbid of skéllein to dry ]

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .