|Origin:||Greek, from skeletos 'dried up'|
the structure consisting of all the bones in a human or animal body:
the human skeleton
a set of these bones or a model of them, fastened in their usual positions, used for example by medical students
the most important parts of something, to which more detail can be added later:
We agreed on a skeleton outline of the proposal.
an extremely thin person or animal:
The disease had reduced Harry to a skeleton.
the main structure that supports a building, bridge etc:
Minutes after the explosion, all that remained was the skeleton of the bridge.
5 also a skeleton in the cupboard British English
an embarrassing or unpleasant secret about something that happened to you in the past
only enough workers or services to keep an operation or organization running:
The bus company is operating a skeleton service on Christmas Day.