Definition of skeletal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈskɛlɪt(ə)l/
Pronunciation: /skəˈliːt(ə)l/


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.
2Existing only in outline or as a framework of something: a skeletal plot for a novel
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, inadequate, insufficient, fragmentary, sketchy, patchy, bitty, scrappy, broad-brush, superficial, perfunctory;



[as submodifier]: skeletally gaunt
More 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

Line breaks: skel|etal

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