- 1 [countable] any of the hard parts that form the skeleton of the body of a human or an animal He survived the accident with no broken bones. This fish has a lot of bones in it. The dog was gnawing on a bone. She had a beautiful face with very good bone structure.
- 2[uncountable] the hard substance that bones are made of knives with bone handles
- 3 -boned (in adjectives) having bones of the type mentioned He was a physically imposing man, tall and big-boned. see also rawboned Idioms
nounjump to other results
a very thin person or animal The cat hadn't been fed for weeks and was just a bag of bones.
a bag of bones (informal)jump to other results
the basic facts the bare bones of the story
the bare bones (of something)jump to other results
a subject that causes disagreement and arguments between people
a bone of contentionjump to other results
(of a remark, joke, story, etc.) so honest or clearly expressed that it is likely to cause offense to some people His comments about her size were a little close to the bone. Some of the sex scenes in the play were judged by critics to be too close to the bone.
close to the bone (informal)jump to other results
to reduce something, such as costs, as much as you possibly can Their annual budget has already been cut to the bone.
cut, pare, etc. something to the bonejump to other results
to be certain about something even though you do not have any direct proof and cannot explain why you are certain I know I'm going to fail this exam—I can feel it in my bones.
feel (it) in your bones (that…)jump to other results
to be angry with someone about something and want to discuss it with them
have a bone to pick with somebody (informal)jump to other results
to be honest and open about something; to not hesitate to do something She made no bones about telling him exactly what she thought of him.
make no bones about (doing) somethingjump to other results
to have none of the quality mentioned She was honest and hard-working, and didn't have an unkind bone in her body.
not have a … bone in your bodyjump to other results
to develop a basic idea, etc. by giving more details to make it more complete The strength of the book is that it puts flesh on the bare bones of this argument.
put flesh on (the bones of) somethingjump to other results
extremely thin in a way that is not attractive or healthy
(nothing but/all/only) skin and bone (informal)jump to other results
to give someone a small part of what they want as a way of showing that you want to help them, without offering them the main thing they want She feels this new energy bill is just throwing a bone to the environmentalists.
throw somebody a bonejump to other results
affecting you very strongly His threats chilled her to the bone.
to the bonejump to other results
to work very hard
work your fingers to the bonejump to other results