- 1Any of the pieces of hard, whitish tissue making up the skeleton in humans and other vertebrates: his injuries included many broken bones a shoulder bone
The substance of bones is formed by specialized cells (osteoblasts) that secrete around themselves a material containing calcium salts (which provide hardness and strength in compression) and collagen fibers (which provide tensile strength). Many bones have a central cavity containing marrowMore example sentences
- Direct injury to the spine may cause a bone fracture anywhere along your vertebral column.
- Years ago we realized that if we combined all our accidents, there was hardly a bone in the human skeleton we hadn't broken.
- Bone marrow is a spongy tissue inside certain bones of the body that produces blood cells.
- 1.1 (bones) A person’s body: he hauled his tired bones uprightMore example sentences
- Sighing, he pulled his weary bones to their feet and decided coffee was the best option.
- He lowered his aching bones to the floor after a harder day's work than he'd ever done.
- I dragged my tired bones to the bathroom to shave.
- 1.2 (bones) A corpse or skeleton: the diggers turned up the bones of a fifteen-year-old girl bones of prehistoric mammalsMore example sentences
- Just ahead, in the wider section of the pass, the dried bones and carcasses of men and pack animals lay strewn about.
- We are still unburying the bones, the remains, of the people who got killed.
- In centuries past, graves would be exhumed, and any bones remaining would be collected and buried deeper down, thereby allowing fresh graves on top.
- 1.3A bone of an animal with meat on it, used as food for people or dogs: stewed in stock made with a ham bone dogs yelping over a boneMore example sentences
- What they actually think happened is that some animal had the bone in his or her burrow and just now decided to toss it.
- So, I've already had to add more water to re-thin it to properly boil down the bones and meat.
- We first put about 5,697 pots of different cereals, lentils, meats, bones and spices on different pots to warm.
- 2The calcified material of which bones consist: an earring of boneMore example sentences
- The material would be gradually replaced by healthy, newly grown bone and blood vessels.
- My latest cut-down bone handled table knives have a near quadrant at the tip and cut unbelievably.
- The spongy bone material was then used for DNA extraction.
- 2.1A substance similar to bone such as ivory, dentin, or whalebone.More example sentences
- Mining activity has been a constant source of bone and ivory artifacts over the last several decades.
- What's more, treasured wood was decorated with bone, jade, gold, bronze and shells adding to the value.
- The earliest example of European poetry about a stranded whale is an Anglo-Saxon inscription on a whale bone casket of about 700 AD.
- 2.2 (often bones) A thing made of, or once made of, such a substance, for example a pair of dice.More example sentences
- Farthingales sells corset supplies including bone casing tape for corset bones.
- The quality of the needlework, particularly around the bodice's bone inserts, makes this unlikely.
- 2.3The whitish color of bone: the sandals she had dyed bone to match the small purseMore example sentences
- The shower is available in white or bone.
- 3 (bones) The basic or essential framework of something: you need to put some flesh on the bones of your ideaMore example sentences
- It is a basic bare bones work on the battle of Chattanooga.
- The bill sets out only the very bare bones of the framework on which the criteria for the process will be hung.
- That's the basic bones of the argument, and there's lots of detail in and around it.
verbBack to top
- 1 [with object] Remove the bones from (meat or fish): while the gumbo is simmering, bone the cooked chickenMore example sentences
- The school's culinary dean recalls being hung from a meat hook for improperly boning veal during one of his 14-hour days as an apprentice in 1949 Germany.
- Clean and bone the fish, leaving their heads in place.
- Unless you are a dab-hand with the boning knife, ask the butcher to bone the chicken legs for you.
- 2 [no object] (bone up on) • informal Study (a subject) intensively, often in preparation for something: she boned up on languages she had learned long ago and went back to New GuineaMore example sentences
- There's nothing like a stroll immediately before an interview for a spot of last minute boning up on your subject.
- To bone up on the subject, he read the works of a professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose area of research was deceptive political advertising.
- Unless you're willing to bone up on the subject, you're better off to assess his technical ability by asking for references and checking them out.
a bag of bones
the bare bones
- see bare.
be skin and bones
- see skin.
a bone of contention
- A subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement: the examination system has long been a serious bone of contentionMore example sentences
- Road safety and pollution issues were the main bones of contention, with frequent tailbacks of lorries billowing fumes into people's homes, he said.
- The issue has been a bone of contention for several years between Mid West farmers and State Government authorities.
- In the last century the same conflicts led to the First World War and continued to be a bone of contention throughout the Second.
close to (or near) the bone
- 1(Of a remark) penetrating and accurate to the point of causing hurt or discomfort.More example sentences
- As a fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian, I sometimes find your articles a bit close to the bone, but in fairness you reflect accurately the nature of the Internet.
- The funny thing about that is that the film is about a man who gets into trouble for writing books that cut too close to the bone, other people's bones in this case.
- This list can go on and on, and hearing these stories cuts rather close to the bone: suffering is everywhere and also infinite in its variety.
cut (or pare) something to the bone
- Reduce something to the bare minimum: costs will have to be cut to the boneMore example sentences
- Transport manifesto commitments have been pared to the bone.
- But, with hindsight, we can already see that the company achieved spectacular growth by cutting premiums to the bone, and possibly under-reserving.
- So there is a war on, with each side cutting prices to the bone.
(as) dry as a bone
- see dry.
have a bone to pick with someone
- • informal Have reason to disagree or be annoyed with someone.More example sentences
- He could be gruff and if he had a bone to pick with you, he picked it.
- Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.
- Perhaps I have always had a bone to pick with her because I believe that she stole my thunder.
have not a —— bone in one's body
- (Of a person) have not the slightest trace of the specified quality: there’s not a conservative bone in his bodyMore example sentences
- It doesn't matter if you haven't got an artistic bone in your body, we can show you very simple ways to achieve a masterpiece!
- Darren is not a racist - he doesnt have a racist bone in his body.
- Charlotte claims Katie was never interested in either her or her siblings and the mother-of-two ‘doesn't have a maternal bone in her body’.
in one's bones
- Felt, believed, or known deeply or instinctively: he has rhythm in his bones something good was bound to happen; he could feel it in his bonesMore example sentences
- We believe in our bones that what we are doing is the right thing.
- The Albanian people who make up a good part of our parish understood this in their bones; many of the Americans seemed not to.
- Tocqueville understood this milieu in his bones.
make no bones about something
- Have no hesitation in stating or dealing with something, however awkward or distasteful it is: the film is an op-ed piece, and the director makes no bones about its biasesMore example sentences
- Definitely not for the squeamish, the article makes no bones about where the responsibility for the massacre lay.
- The solicitor told the court: ‘Her behaviour was dreadful and she makes no bones about that.’
- ‘She makes no bones about not liking journalists,’ says one.
to the bone
- 1(Of a wound) so deep as to expose a person’s bone: his thigh had been axed open to the bone • figurative his contempt cut her to the boneMore example sentences
- It was a deep wound, not quite to the bone but not just skin either.
- One of the operations was to repair his left hand and stitch up stab wounds, which cut through to the bone.
- She did not wince as blades sunk deeper to the bone.
- 1.1(Especially of cold) affecting a person in a penetrating way: chilled to the boneMore example sentences
- The blue-green sky of Pomen was partly cloudy, and although the afternoon sun tried to warm the proceedings below, it was a cold day that chilled to the bone.
- The room seemed to have lost all its warmth and the torch's fire seemed to be diffusing only cold, chilling to the bone.
- Neko woke up, freezing cold, soaked to the bone with sweat.
- 2 (or to one's bones) Used to emphasize that a person has a specified quality in an overwhelming or fundamental way: she’s a New Englander to her bones he’s a cop to the boneMore example sentences
- But, anyone who thinks that careerist social climbers aren't liberals to their bones just doesn't know what he's talking about.
- He would not, however, feel any divided loyalties were his team to come up against Italy in the knock-out stages of the finals in Greece: ‘I am Australian to my bones.’
- Jeremiah was a patriot down to his bones and wrote an entire book lamenting the fall of his nation.
throw a bone to
- Give someone only a token concession: was the true purpose of the minimum wage hike to throw a bone to the unions?More example sentences
- Fiscal conservatives will, by and large, allow you to throw a bone to the social conservatives so long as you do it somewhere they don't have to look at.
- And I believe that his policies sometimes reflect a political need to throw a bone to that constituency to keep them happy.
- And I would like to point out, if you read the next paragraph in the judge's finding, he seemed to throw a bone to each side.
what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh (or blood)
- • proverb A person’s behavior or characteristics are determined by heredity.More example sentences
- I guess what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, as they say.
- What's bred in the bone will out in the flesh, the saying goes.
- Because what's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh, and we should never forget it.
work one's fingers to the bone
- Work very hard: Tracy can work her fingers to the bone, but it’s Ms. Green who gets the thanksMore example sentences
- We are working our fingers to the bone to try and rescue our comrades, but at the moment we have yet to locate where their screams were coming from.
- I've worked my fingers to the bone, cleaning, organizing and even releasing to the trash bin things I no longer need.
- ‘We lived in a tiny little flat, and had no money, and my mother had to work her fingers to the bone,’ Carol says.
Old English bān, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch been and German Bein.