- n. & v.
1 any of the pieces of hard tissue making up the skeleton in vertebrates.
2 (in pl.) a the skeleton, esp. as remains after death. b the body, esp. as a seat of intuitive feeling (felt it in my bones).
3 a the material of which bones consist. b a similar substance such as ivory, dentine, or whalebone.
4 a thing made of bone.
5 (in pl.) the essential part of a thing (the bare bones).
6 (in pl.) a dice. b castanets.
7 a strip of stiffening in a corset etc.
1 tr. take out the bones from (meat or fish).
2 tr. stiffen (a garment) with bone etc.
3 tr. Brit. sl. steal.
Phrases and idioms:
bone china fine china made of clay mixed with the ash from bones. bone-dry quite dry. bone idle (or lazy) utterly idle or lazy. bone-meal crushed or ground bones used esp. as a fertilizer. bone of contention a source or ground of dispute. bone-setter a person who sets broken or dislocated bones, esp. without being a qualified surgeon. bone spavin see SPAVIN. bone up (often foll. by on) colloq. study (a subject) intensively. close to (or near) the bone
1 tactless to the point of offensiveness.
2 destitute; hard up. have a bone to pick (usu. foll. by with) have a cause for dispute (with another person).
make no bones about
1 admit or allow without fuss.
2 not hesitate or scruple. point the bone (usu. foll.
by at) Austral.
1 wish bad luck on.
2 cast a spell on in order to kill.
to the bone
1 to the bare minimum.
2 penetratingly. work one's fingers to the bone work very hard, esp. thanklessly.
Etymology: OE ban f. Gmc
Useful english dictionary. 2012.