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Anatomy, Zoology. the bones of a human or an animal considered as a whole, together forming the framework of the body.
any of various structures forming a rigid framework in an invertebrate.
an emaciated person or animal.
a supporting framework, as of a leaf, building, or ship.
an outline, as of a literary work:
the skeleton of the plot.
something reduced to its essential parts.
of or relating to a skeleton.
like or being a mere framework; reduced to the essential or minimal parts or numbers:
a skeleton staff.
skeleton at the feast, a person or thing that casts gloom over a joyful occasion; a note or reminder of sorrow in the midst of joy.
skeleton in the closet / cupboard,

a family scandal that is concealed to avoid public disgrace.
any embarrassing, shameful, or damaging secret.

a hard framework consisting of inorganic material that supports and protects the soft parts of an animal’s body and provides attachment for muscles: may be internal (an endoskeleton), as in vertebrates, or external(an exoskeleton), as in arthropods See also endoskeleton, exoskeleton
(informal) a very thin emaciated person or animal
the essential framework of any structure, such as a building or leaf, that supports or determines the shape of the rest of the structure
an outline consisting of bare essentials: the skeleton of a novel
(modifier) (US & Canadian) reduced to a minimum: a skeleton staff
skeleton in the cupboard, (US & Canadian) skeleton in the closet, a scandalous fact or event in the past that is kept secret

skeleton skel·e·ton (skěl’ĭ-tn)

The internal structure composed of bone and cartilage that protects and supports the soft organs, tissues, and other parts of a vertebrate organism; endoskeleton.

All the bones of the body taken collectively.

The exoskeleton.


The internal structure of vertebrate animals, composed of bone or cartilage, that supports the body, serves as a framework for the attachment of muscles, and protects the vital organs and associated structures.

A hard protective covering or supporting structure of invertebrate animals. See also endoskeleton, exoskeleton.

skeletal adjective


Read Also:

  • Skeleton-car

    noun, Railroads. 1. a freight car essentially consisting of a central longitudinal girder fastened to the trucks, sometimes supplemented by one or more pairs of cross cantilevers: used for carrying logs or containers.

  • Skeletonize

    verb (used with object), skeletonized, skeletonizing. 1. to reduce to a skeleton, outline, or framework. 2. to reduce in size or number, as a military unit. 3. to construct in outline. verb (transitive) 1. to reduce to a minimum framework, number, or outline 2. to create the essential framework of

  • Skeleton-key

    noun 1. a key with nearly the whole substance of the bit filed away so that it may open various locks. skeleton key noun 1. a key with the serrated edge filed down so that it can open numerous locks Also called passkey

  • Skelf

    noun (Scot & Northern English, dialect) 1. a splinter of wood, esp when embedded accidentally in the skin 2. a thin or diminutive person

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