Printer Friendly
Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary
7,144,271,617 visitors served.
forum Join the Word of the Day Mailing List For webmasters


   Also found in: Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia 0.01 sec.
Ads by Google:
skel·e·ton  (skl-tn)
a. The internal structure composed of bone and cartilage that protects and supports the soft organs, tissues, and other parts of a vertebrate organism; endoskeleton.
b. The hard external supporting and protecting structure in many invertebrates, such as mollusks and crustaceans, and certain vertebrates, such as turtles; exoskeleton.
2. A supporting structure or framework, as of a building.
3. An outline or sketch.
4. Something reduced to its basic or minimal parts.
5. One that is very thin or emaciated.
1. Of, relating to, or resembling a skeleton.
2. Reduced to the basic or minimal parts or members: a skeleton crew.
skeleton in (one's) closet
A source of shame or disgrace, as in a family, that is kept secret.

[Greek skeleton (sma), dried-up (body), neuter of skeletos, from skellesthai, to dry up.]

skeleton (ˈskɛlɪtən)
1. (Zoology) 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
2. a very thin emaciated person or animal
3. the essential framework of any structure, such as a building or leaf, that supports or determines the shape of the rest of the structure
4. an outline consisting of bare essentials: the skeleton of a novel.
5. (modifier) US and Canadian reduced to a minimum: a skeleton staff.
6. US and Canadian
[C16: via New Latin from Greek: something desiccated, from skellein to dry up]
ˈskeletal adj ˈskeletally adv ˈskeleton-ˌlike adj
skel•e•ton (ˈskɛl ɪ tn)

1. the bones of a vertebrate considered as a whole, together forming the internal framework of the body.
2. any of various structures forming a rigid framework in certain invertebrates.
3. an emaciated person or animal.
4. a supporting framework, as of a leaf, building, or ship.
5. an outline, as of a literary work: the skeleton of the plot.
6. something reduced to its essential parts.
7. of or pertaining to a skeleton.
8. reduced to the essential or minimal parts or numbers: a skeleton staff.
skeleton in the closet or cupboard, any embarrassing, shameful, or damaging secret.
[1570–80; < New Latin < Greek: dried corpse, skeleton, n. use of neuter of skeletós dried up, v. adj. of skéllein to dry]

skeleton  (skl-tn)
1. 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.
2. A hard protective covering or supporting structure of invertebrate animals. See also endoskeletonexoskeleton

skeletal adjective
click for a larger image
Thesaurus Legend:  Synonyms Related Words Antonyms
Noun1.skeleton - something reduced to its minimal formskeleton - something reduced to its minimal form; "the battalion was a mere skeleton of its former self"; "the bare skeleton of a novel"
lower limit, minimum - the smallest possible quantity
2.skeleton - a scandal that is kept secret; "there must be a skeleton somewhere in that family's closet"
scandal, outrage - a disgraceful event
3.skeleton - the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animalskeleton - the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal
system - a group of physiologically or anatomically related organs or parts; "the body has a system of organs for digestion"
musculoskeletal system - the system of muscles and tendons and ligaments and bones and joints and associated tissues that move the body and maintain its form
skeletal structure - any structure created by the skeleton of an organism
endoskeleton - the internal skeleton; bony and cartilaginous structure (especially of vertebrates)
exoskeleton - the exterior protective or supporting structure or shell of many animals (especially invertebrates) including bony or horny parts such as nails or scales or hoofs
4.skeleton - the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shapeskeleton - the internal supporting structure that gives an artifact its shape; "the building has a steel skeleton"
aircraft - a vehicle that can fly
building, edifice - a structure that has a roof and walls and stands more or less permanently in one place; "there was a three-story building on the corner"; "it was an imposing edifice"
chassis - the skeleton of a motor vehicle consisting of a steel frame supported on springs that holds the body and motor
hoop - a light curved skeleton to spread out a skirt
ship - a vessel that carries passengers or freight
supporting structure - a structure that serves to support something

1. bones, bare bones a human skeleton
2. frame, shell, framework, basic structure Only skeletons of buildings remained in the area.
3. plan, structure, frame, draft, outline, framework, sketch, abstract, blueprint, main points a skeleton of policy guidelines
minimum, reduced, minimal, essential Only a skeleton staff remains to see anyone interested around the site.
skeleton [ˈskelɪtn]
A. N [of person] → esqueleto m; [of building] → armazón f, armadura f; (= structure) → estructura f; [of novel, report] → esquema m, bosquejo m
skeleton in the cupboardsecreto m de familia
B. CPD [service] → mínimo; [outline] → esquemático
skeleton key Nllave f maestra
skeleton staff N with a skeleton staffcon un personal mínimo

skeleton [ˈskɛlɪtən] n
(ANATOMY)squelette m
a human skeleton → un squelette humain
to have a skeleton in the cupboard (British) to have a skeleton in the closet → avoir un squelette dans le placard
[building] → structure f
(= basic outline) [plot, article] → schéma m
skeleton draft ncanevas m
skeleton key npasse-partout m inv
skeleton staff npermanence f, permanents mpl

n (lit, fig)Skelett nt; (esp of ship) → Gerippe nt; a skeleton in one’s cupboard (Brit) or closet (US) → ein dunkler Punkt (seiner Vergangenheit); (of public figure)eine Leiche im Keller
adj plan, outline etcprovisorisch

skeleton crew
nNot- or Minimalbesatzung f
skeleton key
nDietrich m
skeleton service
nNotdienst m
skeleton staff
nNotbesetzung f

skeleton [ˈskɛlɪtn]
1. n (of person) → scheletro; (of building) → struttura, ossatura; (of novel, report) → schema m
a walking skeleton (fig) → uno scheletro ambulante
the skeleton at the feast (fig) → il/la guastafeste
skeleton in the cupboard or closet (fig) → scheletro nell'armadio
2. adj (staff, service) → ridotto/a

skeleton (ˈskelitn) noun
1. the bony framework of an animal or person. The archaeologists dug up the skeleton of a dinosaur.
2. any framework or outline. the steel skeleton of a building.
skeleton key
a key which can open many different locks.

skeleton هَيْكَلٌ عَظْمِيّ kostra skelet Skelett σκελετός esqueleto luuranko squelette kostur scheletro 骨格 해골 skelet skjelett szkielet esqueleto скелет skelett โครงกระดูก iskelet bộ xương 骷髅

n.  esqueleto, armazón ósea del cuerpo.

Want to thank TFD for its existence? Tell a friend about us, add a link to this page, or visit the webmaster's page for free fun content.
?Page tools
Printer friendly
Cite / link
Add definition
Mentioned in?  References in classic literature?   Dictionary browser?   Full browser?
The skeleton of even the most lawless despot makes a good constitutional sovereign.
My dear Isabella, I am sure there must be Laurentina's skeleton behind it.
As he spoke, Death, a grisly skeleton, appeared and said to him: "What wouldst thou, Mortal?
Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Translations

Terms of Use | Privacy policy | Feedback | Advertise with Us | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. a Mode Partner
All content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional.