Definition of skeletal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskelədl/


1Relating to or functioning as a skeleton: the skeletal remains of aquatic organisms
More example sentences
  • The disc covers 150 fetal anomalies, including head, skeletal, gastrointestinal and cardiac anomalies.
  • A 57-year-old woman underwent a combined skeletal and metabolic survey of her total body bone mass to establish the extent of osteoporosis.
  • A skeletal survey found no lytic bone lesions at this time.
1.1Very thin; emaciated: a small, skeletal boy clothed in rags
More example sentences
  • An anorexic who for years has been doing a ‘good job’ at being anorexic is hiding in plain sight all the time. She's thin, but not skeletal.
  • He was a little taller than Diana, thin, but not skeletal.
  • He was already walking a fine line between thin and skeletal when we met, but now he just looks ill.
emaciated, very thin, as thin as a rake, cadaverous, skin-and-bones, skinny, bony, gaunt, size-zero
informal anorexic, (looking) like a bag of bones
1.2Existing only in outline or as a framework of something: a skeletal plot for a novel the skeletal leaves of long-faded roses
More example sentences
  • The plot, as it stands, is only the skeletal outline of a movie.
  • As you can imagine, at the moment, all I have is a skeletal framework of information regarding the aforementioned incident.
  • While most scholars of southern history and politics know the skeletal outlines of this story, Frederickson explains it in detail.
lacking in detail, incomplete, outline, fragmentary, sketchy;



Example sentences
  • Not only are they dentally impaired but skeletally out of proportion.
  • At your age, your body is still developing, skeletally and hormonally, so a regular training program, a whole-food diet high in protein and good sleeping habits should be sufficient to promote muscular growth.
  • She is skeletally thin, with hollow, cadaverous eyes and cheeks.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: skel·e·tal

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