Share this entry

stony Syllabification: ston·y
Pronunciation: /ˈstōnē/

Definition of stony in English:

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.
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.
1.2Not having or showing feeling or sympathy: Lorenzo’s hard, stony eyes
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, hostile, cold, chilly, frosty, icy;
hard, flinty, steely, stern, severe;
fixed, expressionless, blank, poker-faced, deadpan;
1.3 Astronomy (Of a meteorite) consisting mostly of rock, as opposed to metal.
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.


Old English stānig (see stone, -y1).


fall on stony ground

(Of words or a suggestion) be ignored or badly received.
[With biblical reference to the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:5)]
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.



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.


Pronunciation: /ˈstōnēnəs/
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.

Words that rhyme with stony

abalone, Albinoni, Annigoni, Antonioni, baloney, Bodoni, boloney, bony, calzone, cannelloni, canzone, cicerone, coney, conversazione, coronae, crony, Gaborone, Giorgione, macaroni, Manzoni, Marconi, mascarpone, minestrone, Moroni, Mulroney, padrone, panettoni, pepperoni, phoney, polony, pony, rigatoni, Shoshone, Sloaney, Toni, tony, zabaglione

Definition of stony in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
a stupid person