Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Modern Latin
Origin: Greek, from skeletos 'dried up'

skeleton

noun
     
skeleton
Related topics: Biology, Medicine
skel‧e‧ton
1

bones

[countable]
a) HB the structure consisting of all the bones in a human or animal body:
the human skeleton
b) M a set of these bones or a model of them, fastened in their usual positions, used for example by medical students
2

basic parts

[singular] the most important parts of something, to which more detail can be added later:
We agreed on a skeleton outline of the proposal.
3

thin person

[countable] an extremely thin person or animal:
The disease had reduced Harry to a skeleton.
4

structure

[countable] the main structure that supports a building, bridge etc:
Minutes after the explosion, all that remained was the skeleton of the bridge.
5

a skeleton in the closet

also a skeleton in the cupboard British English an embarrassing or unpleasant secret about something that happened to you in the past
6

skeleton staff/crew/service etc

only enough workers or services to keep an operation or organization running:
The bus company is operating a skeleton service on Christmas Day.
7

sport

[countable, singular] a sport in which you slide down a special ice track while lying on your front on a type of sledge, or the vehicle you slide on bobsleigh, luge

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary