Definition of stone in English:

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Pronunciation: /stəʊn/


1 [mass noun] Hard solid non-metallic mineral matter of which rock is made, especially as a building material: the houses are built of stone [as modifier]: high stone walls
More example sentences
  • Once again it started with the expensive building of tall, solid stone buildings, engines, pumps, boilers and a chimney.
  • Because cement is such a dense, hard material it puts stone under pressure, cracks it and allows water to seep into the interior.
  • Nearby were high-status buildings made of stone with plastered walls and more humble structures on the outskirts of the city.
1.1Used in similes and metaphors to refer to weight or lack of feeling, expression, or movement: Isabel stood as if turned to stone the elevator dropped like a stone
More example sentences
  • She came around and faced her mother, her expression as hard as stone.
  • She set her face in stone, an expression she had reserved for her hanging, as she was tied, not struggling, to a chain on a pulley.
  • She remained as still as stone, her expression as unreadable as the message in the stars behind her Dwarven veil.
1.2 [count noun] A small piece of rock found on the ground.
Example sentences
  • First he put a bunch of stones in a big fire, then he put the stones in a pit dug in the ground, put stones over the top, and covered it with moss, sticks and sand.
  • There were little white stones laid on the ground where we had plants growing and we had no idea about who was doing it.
  • The real world - the mud on the ground, the stones, the sprouting grass - are not captured by the street name.
rock, pebble, boulder;
Australian  boondie;
(stones) cobbles, gravel, scree
rare concretion
1.3 [count noun] Astronomy A meteorite made of rock, as opposed to metal.
Example sentences
  • There are three basic types of meteorites: stones, stony-irons, and irons.
  • After the appearance of a fireball, followed by detonations, a stone of about 50 lb, which had struck an oak tree, was found 2 miles from Pine Bluff and 10 miles from Little Piney.
1.4 [count noun] Medicine A calculus; a gallstone or kidney stone.
Example sentences
  • Ultrasonography showed multiple stones in the left kidney.
  • The risk of kidney and urinary stones was higher both before and after surgery in those undergoing surgery
  • In one case plain radiography misdiagnosed a stone not seen on intravenous urography.
2A piece of stone shaped for a purpose, especially one of commemoration, ceremony, or demarcation: a memorial stone boundary stones
More example sentences
  • The Korean Irish Memorial Committee are determined to set up a memorial stone to commemorate the 28 Irishmen that were killed in Korea.
  • Then there's a film show on Southsea Common, a display of historic military vehicles, a commemorative website and a ceremony at the D-Day stone.
  • A tree planting ceremony followed, before a commemorative stone was laid in memory of the deceased.
gravestone, headstone, tombstone;
tablet, monument, monolith, obelisk
2.1A gem or jewel: a gold ring with a small dark red stone
More example sentences
  • Glue a turquoise stone or cabochon on the middle of the threads.
  • The dark red stones twinkle invitingly from many shop windows.
  • Some material contains so much chromium in its structure that the stones are dark red.
gem, gemstone, jewel, precious stone, semi-precious stone, brilliant
informal rock, sparkler
archaic bijou
2.2 short for curling stone.
Example sentences
  • The contestants use brooms to sweep a path on the ice for a sliding stone.
  • However, to deliver a stone well, you should glide along with the stone as far as possible.
  • No matter how much you love the stone and broom game, when it takes priority in the biggest country in the Commonwealth, you can see why critics feel able to snipe.
2.3A round piece or counter, originally made of stone, used in various board games, especially the Japanese game of go.
Example sentences
  • One of their pastimes was to play skittles with round stones.
  • I have also replaced the dusty real stones with glass gaming stones.
  • On the coast, people play mbao, a board game that uses small stones.
2.4A large flat table or sheet, originally made of stone and now usually of metal, on which pages of type are made up.
Example sentences
  • By the early 1820s, seven-color prints were produced in France, with a stone for each color used.
3A hard seed in a cherry, plum, peach, and some other fruits.
Example sentences
  • The ‘ricin factory’ consisted of castor oil, cherry stones and apple seeds, and some handwritten recipes for ricin.
  • He said he had asked him to help collect apple seeds and cherry stones - the raw ingredients for cyanide - and told him it was for use in making herbal medicine.
  • He collected cherry stones and apple seeds - the raw ingredients for cyanide - and had more than 20 castor beans which can be used to make ricin.
kernel, seed, pip, pit
technical endocarp
4 (plural same) British A unit of weight equal to 14 lb (6.35 kg): I weighed 10 stone
More example sentences
  • Among those who enlisted, a large proportion grew a couple of inches and added a stone in weight as a result of an Army diet.
  • Had my chilli chicken ramen weighed in at over a stone in weight?
  • Every gram seemed to weigh a stone by the end of an 18-mile day.
5 [mass noun] A natural shade of whitish or brownish-grey: [as modifier]: stone stretch trousers
More example sentences
  • The theme in the house seemed to be of neutral and warm shades like tan, stone brown and beige.
  • The easiest thing to do is to paint these in a natural green or stone colour.
  • The room beyond was unfurnished, decorated in shades of pale stone, and utterly deserted.


[with object]
1Throw stones at: policemen were stoned by the crowd two people were stoned to death
More example sentences
  • The crowd stoned policemen and beat a bus driver in Plovdiv late Monday, after the power was cut off.
  • A Bradford rioter claimed he tried to stop youths wrecking cars only minutes after being filmed throwing stones himself.
  • At an early court appearance, angry crowds stoned the police van escorting her.
2Remove the stone from (a fruit): (as adjective stoned) add 50 g of stoned black olives
More example sentences
  • Add grilled cherry tomatoes, stoned black olives, cavello nero and some fresh basil leaves.
  • Add a handful of black olives, stoned and roughly chopped, and a splash of white wine.
  • Rinse and stone the plums, removing any stalks as you go.
3Build, face, or pave with stone: (as adjective, in combination -stoned) the honey-stoned, eighteenth-century city
More example sentences
  • Over another is a honey-stoned manor and a Grade 1-listed Gothic orangery.
  • They reentered the blinding sunlight into a cobble stoned courtyard where a group of horse topped men stood waiting.
  • He grabbed Leila's reins and brought her front legs back down to the cobble stoned street.



be written (or engraved or set) in stone

Used to emphasize that something is fixed and unchangeable: anything can change—nothing is written in stone
More example sentences
  • Your training goals are not written in stone; changes should be made as necessary to work toward a common goal.
  • However, an RFL spokesman said ten teams per division was a minimum, not a fixed figure, while the new format was not yet set in stone.
  • While many thought that the current proposed standard was written in stone might have to change their minds and wait until the squabbling is over.

cast (or throw) the first stone

Be the first to make an accusation (used to emphasize that a potential critic is not wholly blameless).
With biblical allusion to John 8:7
Example sentences
  • There is a saying only he who is blameless may cast the first stone.
  • You don't get to play Christian on TV, or amass real political power along with your millions, by urging people not to throw the first stone, especially if they live in a glass house.
  • Mostly some pretext is generally made available or situation is such created that minorities are either cornered or threatened in such a way that they are forced to throw the first stone.

leave no stone unturned

Try every possible course of action in order to achieve something.
Example sentences
  • They have left no stone unturned to achieve this end.
  • The Corporation or municipality should give top priority to the improvement of the public health system and leave no stone unturned towards achieving their objective.
  • The developers are doing their bit in keeping the entrance to the site as tidy as possible and will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to comply with the requirements of the local committee.

the stone end

Australian /NZ informal The very end; the absolute limit: his name would be published and it would be the stone end of him that really would be the stone end
More example sentences
  • "At the time", he records, "I thought this was just the stone end".
  • I thought, "This is the stone end," and stopped feeling scared.
  • Then they started talking about the war, and that was the stone end of me.

stone me! (or stone the crows!)

British informal An exclamation of surprise or shock.
Example sentences
  • Stone the crows, she's out of control!
  • Stone the crows, I can hardly wait to find out.
  • 'Stone The Crows!', shouted the legendary manager, when he first heard this splendid young Scottish band roaring into action.

a stone's throw

A short distance: the Sea Life Centre is just a stone’s throw from the sea itself
More example sentences
  • The Republican Party will hold its convention in New York in early September, literally a stone's throw from Ground Zero.
  • The furthest patch of ground is only a stone's throw away from the Heritage Amphitheatre Stage and the sound quality of the venue is superb.
  • All three of them live within a stone's throw of each other in the Bradford area and if Yorkshire manage to restore their pride this season then the local trio will have had much to do with it.



Pronunciation: /ˈstəʊnləs/
Example sentences
  • This deliciously succulent new plant produces sunset orange berries, the size of a golf ball, with the benefit of being stoneless.
  • We are also investigating the possibility of creating marketable stoneless stone fruit varieties.
  • It is probable that plums actually seedless as well as stoneless will prove favorites with some fruit growers.


Old English stān (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch steen and German Stein. The verb dates from Middle English (first recorded in sense 1 of the verb).

  • An Old English word first found in the writings of Alfred the Great (849–99). The imperial unit of weight, recorded from the 14th century, is now equivalent to 14 pounds but formerly varied, and would originally have been just the weight of a particular rock used as a local measure. To cast (or throw) the first stone is to be the first to accuse or criticize. The phrase comes from St John's Gospel. A group of men preparing to stone to death a woman who had committed adultery were addressed by Jesus with the words: ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’ Drug takers have been stoned since the 1950s, originally in the USA—the image is of someone so dazed they seem to have been hit by a large stone. If something is set (or carved) in stone it is fixed and unchangeable. This refers to another biblical story, of Moses and the Ten Commandments. According to the Book of Genesis God wrote the Commandments on tablets of stone and handed them down to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Words that rhyme with stone

alone, atone, Beaune, bemoan, blown, bone, Capone, clone, Cohn, Cologne, condone, cone, co-own, crone, drone, enthrone, flown, foreknown, foreshown, groan, grown, half-tone, home-grown, hone, Joan, known, leone, loan, lone, mephedrone, moan, Mon, mown, ochone, outflown, outgrown, own, phone, pone, prone, Rhône, roan, rone, sewn, shown, Simone, Sloane, Soane, sone, sown, strown, throne, thrown, tone, trombone, Tyrone, unbeknown, undersown, windblown, zone

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