- 1An internal or external framework of bone, cartilage, or other rigid material supporting or containing the body of an animal or plant.More example sentences
- Despite the apparent differences produced by an internal versus an external skeleton, the control problems faced by the two groups are formally the same.
- While human bodies have skeletons of bones, our cells have a framework made of a filamentous network.
- These forms had two dorsal fins rather than one, and all the fins were supported by an internal skeleton and musculature.
- 1.1Used in exaggerated reference to a very thin or emaciated person or animal: she was no more than a skeleton at the endMore example sentences
- I was only 5 when I first saw it and for years just couldn't comprehend that the emaciated distressed skeletons shown were actually people.
- His tattered clothes hung loosely on his pale and thin skeleton as he thrust three bottles of scotch to the side.
- The next man seemed to be a skeleton, and his voice was just as thin.
- 1.2The remaining part of something after its life or usefulness is gone: the chapel was stripped to a skeleton of its former selfMore example sentences
- The place was a complete wreck, a skeleton, there was nothing there - it was just gutted.
- On either side the rusting skeletons of dead trucks lined the route like a line of memento mori.
- The structure was reduced to a charred skeleton and had to be demolished, prompting a campaign to restore the rundown Victorian public gardens.
- 1.3The supporting framework, basic structure, or essential part of something: the concrete skeleton of an unfinished building the skeleton of a reportMore example sentences
- The basic skeleton of all languages is grammar, that is structure which, when mastered, enables anything to be said.
- I saw the movie long back and I just remember the basic skeleton of the story.
- That structure provides a skeleton of sorts for the ship.
- 1.4 [as modifier] Denoting the essential or minimum number of people, things, or parts necessary for something: there was only a skeleton staff on dutyMore example sentences
minimum, minimal, basic; essential
- Many other services operated with skeleton staff.
- Council offices reduced to skeleton staff manning because most of the people are sleeping off the previous night's counting.
- It is in the municipalities and corporations the health service finds it difficult to operate with skeleton staff.
skeleton in the closet
- A discreditable or embarrassing fact that someone wishes to keep secret.More example sentences
- We all have our hidden secrets, our skeletons in the closet, our feelings of guilt; these things weigh on everyone to a degree.
- When we think of secrets, we think of all those the skeletons in the closet.
- But she isn't the only one with a skeleton in the closet; Danny is hiding a secret of his own.
- More example sentences
- They can skeletonize a cow in under thirty seconds!
- I'm now worried that if I'll be skeletonised if I ever fall asleep at my desk.
- At 7’ overall, the knife is the perfect size for everyday carry, made even easier by weight saved by skeletonizing the handle.
late 16th century: modern Latin, from Greek, neuter of skeletos 'dried up', from skellein 'dry up'.