Definition of stony in English:


Line breaks: stony
Pronunciation: /ˈstəʊni

adjective (stonier, stoniest)

1Covered with or full of small pieces of rock: rough stony paths
More example sentences
  • The surface varies from a stony path to a rutted lane to a broad carpet of grass, all of it passable on a touring bike with the exception of 100 yards or so towards the end.
  • If you hike down the steep, stony path on the opposite side, you come to a small, swimming-pool-size basin of water, covered in a green carpet of duckweed.
  • And off they went again, up the stony, twisting path, bending over beneath their loads and a natural inclination to avoid the rain as much as possible.
rocky, rock-strewn, pebbly, gravelly, shingly, gritty;
rough, hard, rugged
1.1Made of or resembling stone: stony steps
More example sentences
  • Everyone heard the quick pace of feet down stony steps.
  • He stepped inside the stony tunnel quickly, waiting a moment to make sure the entrance closed completely.
  • His blades drop with a clang on the stony steps, blood drips from his hands.
1.2 Astronomy (Of a meteorite) consisting mostly of rock, as opposed to metal.
More example sentences
  • Chondrites are stony meteorites that contain small, melted beads known as chondrules and finer-grained material known as matrix.
  • Chondrites are the main type of stony meteorite, constituting 84 percent of all witnessed meteorite falls.
  • Even strong iron meteorites, not just weaker stony meteorites, are affected.
2Not having or showing feeling or sympathy: Lucenzo’s hard, stony eyes the government maintained a stony silence about the affair
More example sentences
  • Although it occurred some two or three weeks ago, the local police have maintained a stony silence with respect to the theft.
  • Some maintained a stony silence while others thought the question was ludicrous.
  • Nick looked at Carolyn impassively, his face stony from lack of emotion.
unfriendly, cold, chilly, frosty, icy, frigid;
hard, flinty, steely, stern, severe;
fixed, expressionless, blank, poker-faced, deadpan;
unfeeling, uncaring, unsympathetic, lacking compassion, insensitive, unmoved, indifferent, unresponsive, cold-hearted, callous, heartless, tough, hard-hearted, stony-hearted, inflexible, unbending, unyielding, uncompromising, merciless, pitiless, ruthless, unforgiving, hostile
literary adamantine
rare indurate, marble-hearted, Rhadamanthine


Old English stānig (see stone, -y1).


fall on stony ground

(Of words or a suggestion) be ignored or badly received: their constructive advice fell on stony ground
[with biblical reference to the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:5)]
More example sentences
  • A suggestion of trying Gandhi's method falls on stony ground.
  • He also proposed the word ‘archaeography’, but that one fell on stony ground.
  • The parish council at Barlby padlocked the £20,000 park after its appeals to the youngsters fell on stony ground.



More example sentences
  • He avoided the fat man's searching squint, kept his eyes fixed stonily on the water.
  • The entire room continued to stare stonily at me while Wanda nodded encouragingly.
  • Within in two minutes, only Morgana and Violet remained in the garden, mother and daughter staring stonily at each other across the few feet that separated them.


More example sentences
  • I'm terrified that if I stop writing, then my traditional wall of stoniness will return forever.
  • That touched her deeply, as much as the fear and worry she could see once he'd dropped the stoniness, allowing her to see the vulnerability beneath.
  • While Duval was a four time All-American at Georgia Tech he was known as Rock, for the solidity of his game and the stoniness of his bearing.

Definition of stony in: